West Yorkshire: Boss guilty over £10m drug haul

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DRUGS with a street value of more than £100m could have been delivered to West Yorkshire as part of an international smuggling operation.

Police were alerted to the major operation after French customs officers stopped a German lorry which was bound for a shopfitting business run by a Leeds man in August 2008.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard that the vehicle contained more than one and a half tonnes of cannabis and heroin in heat-sealed packages and it emerged that the intercepted consignment was the 14th similar delivery to the premises at Jubilee Way, Windhill, Shipley.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter said the random check by French customs had uncovered a haul of drugs with a street value of £10 million.

Businessman Andrew Varey, 43, who ran Varey Shopfitters, and his former partner and company secretary Maxine Robinson, 39, were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and cannabis in relation to the intercepted delivery.

Varey, of Ledgate Lane, Burton Salmon, Leeds, and Robinson, of Tadcaster Road, York, had both denied any knowledge of the drugs in the delivery, but it took the jury just over an hour to return unanimous guilty verdicts.

Recorder Peter Babb agreed to adjourn sentence but he remanded both men in custody until June 24.

He told Varey and Robinson substantial prison sentences were inevitable.

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