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Suffolk drugs enquiry leads to Guyana

PUBLISHED: 16:14 12 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

DETECTIVES from Britain have today been sent to Guyana to investigate a cocaine trafficking route following the discovery of drugs worth £8 million at Felixstowe.

DETECTIVES from Britain have today been sent to Guyana to investigate a cocaine trafficking route following the discovery of drugs worth £8 million at Felixstowe.

Seven men have been charged with attempting to import 120 kilos of cocaine into the UK following a joint operation between mobile teams of Customs officers, armed officers from the National Crime Squad and Gwent Police.

The cocaine was found at the Port of Felixstowe hidden in a consignment of timber from Guyana and then followed to Wales.

Officers from Scotland Yard are now undertaking a series of investigations in London and in Guyana, a government spokesman in Georgetown confirmed.

Guyanese authorities say they are not sure how the cocaine was placed in the shipment, which was supplied by several timber companies.

The seizure at Felixstowe was the latest in a recent series of high profile drugs cases involving Guyana.

Last month, Canadian authorities arrested Mia Rahaman, who held the Miss Guyana title in 2002, for allegedly bringing 15lbs of cocaine on a flight to Toronto.

A Customs and Excise spokesman said seven men had appeared at Caerphilly Magistrates Court in connection with the £8m haul.

They have all been remanded in custody and will appear at Caerphilly Magistrates Court again on June 16.

They are: hairdresser Anthony Chambers, 37, of Gwent; businessman Lebert Barrows, 37, of Jamaica; transport manager Michael Silcox, 45, of Gwent; businessman Gerald Davies, 55, of Llantrissant; accountant Mohammed Afzal Shaheen, 47, of Pontypool; civil servant Milton Wilson, 35, of Gwent; and development manager Joseph Salmon, 36, of Newport.

The cocaine seizure was one of two major hauls recently.

At the same time as it was being investigated, Customs officers also found £35m worth of high-quality heroin at Felixstowe hidden in cat litter from Turkey and also bound for south Wales.

Six men have been charged with smuggling the 400 kilos of drugs and have appeared before court.

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