Monday, February 19, 2007

Birchington Man in Banana Mystery

Kent Online reports that a man who used his business known as A1 Top Banana as a cover for a multi-million pound drug smuggling operation, has been jailed for 10 years.

The second-hand car showroom in Island Road, Westbere - run by Robert Colyer - had been used as headquarters to discuss a plot to import "skunk" cannabis in May 2005.

The drugs were smuggled through Dover on an Italian lorry on pallets disguised as Mercedes Benz car parts.

Wayne McNally, 36, of Ryde Close, Chatham had admitted conspiring to bring in drugs and was jailed for five years.

The organiser, Colyer, 38, of Canterbury Road, Birchington, who went on the run before his trial, was found guilty in his absence at Canterbury Crown Court. He was jailed for 10 years and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Judge Nigel van der Bijl said it was a sophisticated operation to import cannabis and deterrent sentences were necessary.

Prosecutor Martin Griffith said: "The business premises known as A1 Top Banana was run as the drugs distribution centre. Colyer, who ran the business, was the main organiser."

A third man Paul Hanson, 23, Birchwood Walk, Canterbury, was acquitted by a jury of conspiracy.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr Colyer is caught very soon and that in the meantime the authorities are confiscating his house, business and any other assets he has stashed away.

Anonymous said...

You sure he wasn't trying to fob them off with that old schoolboy favourite - dried banana skins!

stuart said...

Good luck to him. Expect he's half way across the world with his cash from previous loads right now!

Anonymous said...

No way, Stuart! He has avoided paying taxes on his business!

Anonymous said...

anon again!
*ANYONE* who deals in Drugs, should be given a slightly heavy overdose, so they can feel the pain and anguish drugs cause to addicts. I'm sure they would stop their filthy dealings quite quickly! Then, 20 years in one of those specialised "holiday" camps on Sheppey.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a bit iffy posting the address of the aquitted man? Bad enough the papers print it.

stuart said...

Anon 10:35 - the man was importing hash, not heroin. I suspect you dont have a clue what you are talking about as it is a non addictive drug. Tobacco is addictive however, but thats ok cos it's a good taxable drug after all.

Anonymous said...

Still illegal Stuart and will remain so. I gave up smoking 6 months a go and find tobacco smoke now irritating (justice I guess). However, having a regular cigarette doesn't get you stoned, you can drive your car safely, or a bus, a train a plane, operate machinary whether it be a photocopier or a steam hammer safely, carryout a job safely and fully coherent. Would you be glad to let someone babysit your kids who was under the influence. It's bad enough with the legal stuff, alcopops and all, let's not make it worse with more freely available crap to slow down reaction times. Anyone seeking to legalize cannabis is stuck in the 90s when legalization for casual use was considered.

Anonymous said...

You have obviously not lost any family member to drugs. Otherwise you might care to reconsider your aloof statement. It starts with "harmless" hash/maryJ call it what you like. It, usually, then progresses to something with a littler extra "kick", then you have an addict on your hands. Getting on with the crap is easy.... getting off it.... poor kids are slowly committing suicide because of people like Mr Colyer. Well, that's another thing YOU will never understand.... want to meet and talk about it?
Only *idiots* smoke. I am entitled to my opinion, and that is it!

DrMoores said...

It is only relatively recently that we have seen the medical results of long-term exposure to cannabis and the insidious mental illness that can accompany it. This is more graphically evident in some communities than others, as alluded to in a discussion on mental health by a professor of psychiatry on the BBC yesterday.

The challenge for society today is get people off any and all drugs, soft and hard which for many have become a lifestyle choice. The same could also be said of cigarettes and alcohol in excess which cost society an equal amount of pain and cost in terms of long term health issues and domestic grief.

Anonymous said...

What a fool I was to think that the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) would sort out Mr Colyer's ill -gotten gains.(Anon 11.35) It was set up by Blunkett four years ago and like so many initiatives administered by this Labour Govt, it is a shambles and clearly unfit for purpose! The National Audit Office has just produced a scathing report on the ARA. In 4 years it has cost us taxpayers £65 million but has only recovered £24 million. Like so much of this Government's stewardship, it is unfit for purpose.

So the sad fact is that Mr Colyer has not only evaded justice by legging it, but he will be able to continue to enjoy the fruits of his drug running in some sunny clime whilst the rest of us pay taxes for the ARA not to do its job.

Anonymous said...

No, the sad fact is; Mr Colyer could walk passed the police station dressed in little more than a pink feather boa with the words 'ON THE RUN' tatooed on his forehead and he still wouldn't be arrested ! If the police can't stop illegal immigrants swanning in and out of the country, how are they going to stop Mr. Colyer ? If they really want to catch him then put a reward on his head and one of his druggy friends will shop him for the price of a fix.