Drug lord jailed over fake ambulance conspiracy

A drugs gang boss arrested after a “truly colossal” conspiracy to sneak heroin and cocaine into Britain in a fleet of Dutch-registered ambulances has been jailed for 20 years.

James Gibson was jailed alongside five other men — who received jail terms of 17 to 11 years — after a court heard he was “towards the top of the tree” on the British side of the plot.

Gibson, of Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to conspiracy to import and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Francis Laird QC said he was entirely sure that drugs with a wholesale value of €360m had been smuggled into the UK in ambulances between October 2014 and June last year.

The National Crime Agency uncovered the conspiracy — which even utilised fake patients and paramedics — after seizing an ambulance in Smethwick, near Birmingham. 

The vehicle was one of four ambulances fitted with specialist ‘hides’ by a Dutch gang.

It was found to contain cocaine with a street value of more than €38m, and 74kg of heroin worth €9.5m in individual deals.


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