Three men have been jailed to a total of more than 20 years for supplying £6million worth of cocaine.
The men were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 4 February for their involvement in supplying cocaine.
UK Cypriot Lazarus John Loizides, 27 (30.01.94), of Chelmsford, Essex, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.
– Joe Sawyer, 26 (13.08.94), of Fieldhouse Close, Redbridge, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
– Robert Beckley, 31 (05.09.89), of Church Road, West Malling, Kent, was sentenced to four years and four months’ imprisonment.
The court heard that on 6 October, 2020 Loizides was seen parking a white van outside the home of Sawyer before getting into Sawyer’s vehicle with a blue holdall, which he put on the back seats before they drove off.
At approximately 15:10hrs, Sawyer returned and got into the rear of the white van with a holdall, which he left in the van before returning to his vehicle and driving home.
Nearly an hour and a half later, Beckley arrived in a black van and parked in Fieldhouse Close. Sawyer saw him pull up, moved the white van up the road and parked three cars in front of Beckley’s.
With everything seemingly in place, Sawyer paced up and down the road on the phone to Loizides – who arrived, now driving a black car, shortly after Sawyer’s call ended. With Loizides now present, Sawyer got out with the blue holdall and went to the front passenger seat of Beckley’s van, handing over the blue bag. Beckley then left.
Beckley, in his vehicle, was followed by officers onto the M25 where he was stopped by marked cars. The blue holdall was still in the passenger foot well. Inside officers found 5kgs of cocaine.
Back at Fieldhouse Close, Loizides was seen by officers taking two large Sports Direct bags out of his black car, the second vehicle he arrived in. They appeared to have been heavy to carry.
He put both bags into the rear of the white van that he initially arrived in and left.
Officers followed him and arrested him at 19:00hrs in Cloudesley Street, N1. Upon his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cash and a ‘burner’ phone. Under one of the rear seats was a sophisticated hide.
Officers searched Loizides’ address, where they found 3kg of cocaine, cash totalling over £55,000, a number of expensive watches and a number of receipts for high value purchases at Harrods.
Sawyer was arrested around 45 minutes after Loizides’ arrest. Officers found the keys to the white van that Loizides had initially arrived in and opened it. Inside they found the two Sports Direct bags. Inside one of the bags was 24 x 1kg bricks of cocaine. The second bag was now empty. Underneath the floor, in the rear, was a concealed hide which contained a further 17 x 1kg bricks of cocaine.
Overall 41kg of cocaine was found in the rear of the white van. In total, 49kg of cocaine was seized with an estimated street value of almost £6million.
All three men were charged on 6 October, 2020 with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine). Loizides was further charged with possession of criminal property in relation to the cash seized.
All three pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 25 November, 2020.
Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “The lengths these men went to try and conceal their criminal activities by having secret hides in their cars is not something an everyday person would even think to consider – but then again most everyday person wouldn’t even consider transporting almost 50kg of cocaine in their vehicles.
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are committed to putting handcuffs on those involved in drugs supply offences and making sure that they spend a significant amount of time in prison.”