Drug couriers jailed over £6m cocaine haul

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Two drug couriers have been jailed after being caught bringing almost £6 million of cocaine into Scotland.

The Crown Office said David Murdoch, 56, from Paisley in Renfrewshire, and Graham McCulloch, 39, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, admitted supplying drugs and possessing criminal property in connection with serious organised crime.

On Thursday, Murdoch was sentenced to a total of 10 years at the High Court in Glasgow and McCulloch was jailed for 10 years.

They were also both issued with a Serious Crime Prevention Order that will be in place for three years upon their release.

David Murdoch
David Murdoch, from Paisley, has been jailed for 10 years (Crown Office/PA)

Officers watched Murdoch and McCulloch dropping off heavy bags – presumed to contain large sums of money – at a location in central London.

A few days later on May 18, a cross-border surveillance operation followed Murdoch as he drove a van from Stonehouse in South Lanarkshire to London.

He met McCulloch, who was driving a BMW car, at a service station on the outskirts of the capital and the pair drove in convoy to central London.

Murdoch unloaded heavy bags, presumed to contain money in payment for drugs, at the same location while McCulloch remained nearby.

He then went to two other locations, in London and Kent, where he picked up bags, which were later found to contain cocaine.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash was found in McCulloch’s BMW (Crown Office/PA)

The two vehicles headed back to Scotland and were intercepted by Police Scotland at a service station at Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway.

In the van, police found 43 blocks of cocaine weighing 52 kilos in a specially built “hide” operated with a hydraulic system.

In the BMW, there were five blocks of cocaine and a suitcase full of cash, totalling £409,595 and 289,500 in euros (£254,564).

The cocaine found would be worth up to £5.9 million when cut for sale.

Officers also searched the men’s homes.

At McCulloch’s house they found a mobile with notes detailing drug deliveries between April 21 and May 8, 2020.

Graham McCulloch
McCulloch, from Airdrie, was also jailed for a decade (Crown Office/PA)

Jennifer Harrower, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, said: “I hope these convictions and sentences send a strong message to others involved in bringing drugs into the country.

“It is thanks to intelligence that we were able to stop these drugs from reaching Scotland’s streets, and this kind of operation is invaluable to us as prosecutors working with our partners.

“Drugs do great harm to communities across Scotland and we will continue to work as a key part of the Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce to protect those communities.”

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