Jailed: Port worker tried moving cocaine worth £118m from ship to Staffordshire
A corrupt port worker involved in importing what he thought was cocaine worth £118 million has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Michael Jordan believed the Class A drugs - bound for a rural location near Lichfield - were hidden among 372 pallets of bananas which arrived on a ship in Portsmouth in April last year.
Little did the 45-year-old know that the huge haul had already been replaced with dummy packages by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The shipment had originated from Colombia, and the vessel - MV Atlantic Klipper - had stopped on its way to the UK at Vlissingen in the Netherlands.
NCA officers worked closely with the Dutch police, who found 1,477kg of cocaine which was replaced with dummy packages.
When the boat docked in the UK, officers watched Jordan on CCTV separating pallets which he believed contained the drugs and moving them to a separate warehouse.
Jordan and his accomplice at the docks, David Oliver, from Cornwell Road in Portsmouth, who was convicted for his role last year, then attempted to conceal the pallets among an unconnected consignment.
Jordan then prepared for the arrival of Turkish lorry driver Ahmet Aydin, who was also convicted in 2022, so the load could be moved into his trailer quickly and without detection.
The NCA shared intelligence with West Midlands Police, who arrested four men as part of their own investigation when the dummy load was transported to a rural location near Lichfield.
Jordan, of London Road, Portsmouth, was arrested along with Oliver and Aydin at the same time on suspicion of conspiracy to import class A drugs. He was convicted after a three-week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday and sentenced on Monday.
NCA Branch Commander Matt McMillan said: “Michael Jordan was part of a criminal conspiracy to import a large quantity of cocaine through the UK border.
“He used his insider knowledge as a port worker to make money from the cocaine trade, which fuels violence and exploitation on our streets.
“The NCA worked closely with the port operator, international partners, and West Midlands Police to dismantle this organised crime group and protect the public.”
Four men – Jonathan Arnold, James Jenkins, Humayan Sadiq and Connor Fletcher - were convicted by West Midlands Police of their roles in the onwards supply of drugs moved by the group in May. They will be sentenced at a later date.