A trio of smugglers who used the Eurotunnel to bring in guns and hard drugs from Amsterdam have been jailed for a total of 40 years.
Kennedy Udo, 28, and Michael Mgbedike, 22, were caught when their car was stopped at the terminal in Coquelles, France as they prepared to board a Folkestone bound train.
The pair had been under surveillance after detectives suspected the gang made at least three previous smuggling trips.
Inside the car Border Force and Scotland Yard’s anti-gang squad found two loaded firearms, ammunition and a silencer.
When the car was stripped apart 990 grams of high purity cocaine was found hidden inside the roof cavity.
In an early morning raid a day later officers raided a Forest Hill property and arrested ringleader Emmanuel Okubote, 27, and a woman.
They found a loaded gun inside a carrier bag on which Okubote’s fingerprints were found. His DNA was also on two parts of the gun.
Another gun was later found in a vehicle in North London and again Okubote’s fingerprints were found on another bag that contained the gun.
Detectives said the men had made several trips to Amsterdam, via Eurotunnel, during the months of July and August 2017 and it is believed at least three smuggling trips had been made.
Detectives said Okubote of Peckham was the main organiser roping in the other two who had little or no previous criminal history to work for him.
Okubote was jailed for 23-and-a-half years last November having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Udo of Eltham was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of goods.
Mgbedike of Orpington was sentenced to eight years having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
DC Sarah Smart of the Trident and Area Crime Command said: “This conviction demonstrates the close working partnership between Trident, Border Force and the Crown Prosecution Service in pursuit of the country’s most dangerous criminals.
“Emmanuel Okubote, along with Michael Mgbedike and Kennedy Udo were intent on importing loaded firearms and drugs through the UK’s borders, bringing misery to the communities that we serve.
“The collaborative work between agencies, as well as between different departments and experts within the Met, has undoubtedly saved lives.
“This demonstrates that law enforcement agencies will relentlessly pursue those who carry, and those who facilitate the movement of firearms and drugs into and within the UK.
“The Metropolitan Police Service, as well as other law enforcement agencies, are committed to making the UK a hostile environment for these criminals to operate.”