Undercover cops film smugglers discussing plan to move £4.5m of drugs

Rolls-Royce-driving pensioner drug smuggler, 73, and his two partners in crime, 64 and 65, are secretly recorded plotting to import £4.5m of narcotics into UK

  • Undercover cops heard drug smuggling trio discussing ‘jackpot’ delivery in Kent
  • Sting used covert listening devices to hear plans to move 55kg of Class A drugs
  • Mark Youell, 64, from Essex, was recorded telling his partners Alfred Rumbold, 65, and Brian Wright, 73: ‘We’re going to make f****** mega dough’ 

Three drug smugglers in their 60s and 70s were caught on camera by undercover officers planning their crime that would have seen them ‘hit the jackpot’.

Mark Youell, 64, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex was recorded telling his partners Alfred Rumbold, 65, and 73-year-old Brian Wright: ‘We’re going to make f****** mega dough’ after importing Class A drugs worth £4.5million into the UK.

A sting operation, led by the National Crime Agency, using covert listening devices caught the trio of plotters detailing their plans to import 55kg of narcotics in a Kent cafe.

The three men have now been convicted of using their removal firm as a front for an international drug smuggling conspiracy.

Youell, Rumbold, of Orpington, Kent, and Wright, of Folkestone, Kent, were all found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs following a seven-week trial at Isleworth Crown Court. They will be sentenced on November 26. 

Mark Youell, 64, was recorded at a Kent cafe telling his partners Alfred Rumbold, 65, (right) and 73-year-old Brian Wright (left): ‘We’re going to make f****** mega dough’ after importing Class A drugs worth £4.5million into the UK

The trio were also pictured by officers within the NCA sting at another meeting in 2020

Last summer, the smugglers held a series of undercover meetings with a Merseyside-based gang involved in organised crime and drug smuggling.

In July, the NCA conducted a sting operation in which they heard the trio discuss border controls, coronavirus and their delight at the prospect of ‘hitting the jackpot’ at a cafe in Kent.

The day before, Rolls Royce-driving smuggler Brian Wright – the owner of a removals company – had successfully completed a mock run in which he took the lorry to the Netherlands.

(Left to right) Mark Youell, 64, Alfred Rumbold, 65, and Brian Wright, 73, were found guilty of conspiring to import class A drugs following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court

In July, the NCA conducted a sting operation in which they heard the trio discuss border controls, coronavirus and their delight at the prospect of ‘hitting the jackpot’ at a cafe in Kent. Pictured: Wright’s removal van, in which the drugs were stashed inside fish tanks

Rolls Royce-driving smuggler Brian Wright – the owner of a removals company – had successfully completed a mock run in which he took the lorry to the Netherlands

Wright made a list of notes detailing security and border force details on his phone on the return journey. The next week, Wright collected the drugs – which were stashed inside fish tanks – and arrived in Utrecht.  

An NCA spokesman said: ‘During the period of the conspiracy, the trio had a series of clandestine meetings with a Merseyside-based organised crime group who wanted to import class A drugs utilising Rolls Royce-driving Wright’s legitimate removals company. 

‘However, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA and Dutch law enforcement, the truck was raided just outside Utrecht. Wright, who was sleeping inside, was arrested.

‘The drugs were seized from their hiding place, with Dutch police recovering 20.5 kilos of heroin, 32 kilos of cocaine and three kilos of MDMA.

Pictured: 55kg of Class A drugs recovered by the NCA sting operation that had an estimated street value of £4.5million 

‘At the same time NCA officers moved in on Youell and Rumbold, arresting them at their home addresses. Phones seized included a number of Encrochat and Sky ECC encrypted devices.’

NCA regional head of investigations Peter Stevens said: ‘This conspiracy involved a significant amount of drugs which were destined for the streets of the UK, where they would have been distributed by criminal gangs involved in violence and exploitation.

‘Through the NCA’s covert investigation into their activities we were able to prove the crime group stood to make huge profits for themselves.’

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