Man from Peckham is named as ‘the main orchestrator’ in smuggling firearms to UK through Channel Tunnel

Katherine Johnston (20 May, 2019) Crime In the Dock

'Main orchestrator' from Evan Cook Close recruited others to help import illicit drugs and firearms from the continent, the court was told

29644Mgbedike, Udo and Okubote

The image of a man from Peckham,  jailed for nearly twenty-four years after smuggling firearms into the UK through the Channel Tunnel, was released this week alongside two of his accomplices after they were also sentenced.

Emmanuel Okubote, aged 27, from Evan Cook Close in Peckham, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to supply class A drugs, and possession ammunition with intent to endanger life in November last year.

He was handed 23-and-a-half-years in prison on November 9, 2018 after a Trident and Border Force investigation found and seized two guns, ammunition, and 990 grams of high purity cocaine from a car in Coquelles, France, heading to Folkestone, on August 12, 2017.

Two men, Michael Mgbedike (22, from Spur Road in Orpington) and Kennedy Udo (aged 28, from Avery Hill Road in Eltham) were arrested at the scene.

The court heard that Okubote and a woman were arrested in the early hours the following day and charged in January 2018 when a loaded gun was found in a bag inside a vehicle in north London.

Okubote’s fingerprint was found on the bag, the court was told.

A recovered firearm, with a sound moderator

Detectives said the three men had made several trips to Amsterdam through the channel tunnel in July and August 2017 to illegally import drugs and guns.

According to the Met, Okuboto was established to be ‘the main orchestrator in the conspiracy, using others with little or no previous criminal history to work for him’.

On Friday, May 17, at Woolwich Crown Court, Udo was sentenced to eight years and six months for drug and firearms offences.

Mgbedike was given eight years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

DC Sarah Smart from the Met’s Trident Command, said: “This conviction demonstrates the close working partnership between Trident, Border Force and the Crown Prosecution Service in pursuit of the country’s most dangerous criminals.

“Emmanuel Okubote, along with Michael Mgbedike and Kennedy Udo were intent on importing loaded firearms and drugs through the UK’s borders, bringing misery to the communities that we serve.

“The collaborative work between agencies, as well as between different departments and experts within the Met, has undoubtedly saved lives.

“This demonstrates that law enforcement agencies will relentlessly pursue those who carry, and those who facilitate the movement of firearms and drugs into and within the UK.

“The Metropolitan Police Service, as well as other law enforcement agencies, are committed to making the UK a hostile environment for these criminals to operate.”

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