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Men sentenced for importing cocaine
A Finchley man has been jailed for nine years for importing cocaine into the UK with intent to supply.
Agim Recica, 39, of Douglas Court, Squires Lane, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on May 26.
A second man, Ilir Qefalija, 36, of no fixed abode, was convicted of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and was sentenced to six years today.
The men imported cocaine with an estimated street value of more than £1 million.
On August 2, 2011 police officers saw Recica accepting delivery of a large wooden crate in Fortis Green.
He then dismantled the crate and removed a large mental packer, a device used in the drilling industry, which he loaded into his van before driving away.
Later that day he was observed at his home where he was joined by Qefalija.
The two were seen to dismantle the packer and decant a white power from within it.
Police officers moved in at this point and arrested the pair.
On arrest Recica was found to have a mobile phone which showed that there had been four missed calls from a Bolivian telephone number.
Investigations revealed the packer had been sent from Bolivia and had arrived at Heathrow Airport on July 29, 2011.
Laboratory tests were conducted on the white powder and revealed the substance to be six kilograms of high purity cocaine with a street value of £1.2 million.
Detective Inspector Steven Miles said: "The sophistication of the concealment methods used by this organised criminal network shows a determination to evade detection and flood the streets of London with harmful class A drugs.
“The vigilance of the United Kingdom Border Agency and Middle Market Drugs Partnership thwarted this criminal enterprise and resulted in these convictions."
Assistant Director Peter Avery, of Border Force, said: "This smuggling attempt shows the lengths criminals are prepared to go to in their attempts to transport drugs around the world.
“Working with our law enforcement partners here in the UK and around the world, we are determined to prevent this terrible trade which can have such a destructive impact on the lives of so many."