Norfolk: Man Jailed for Cannabis Millions

A man from Attleborough in Norfolk has been jailed for trying to smuggle millions of pounds worth of cannabis into the UK

53 year old Al Turner, of Hargham Heath in Attleborough, in Norfolk was sentenced to nine and a half years.

Its after three and a half tonnes of cannabis was found on a ship on the south coast.

Three other men were also jailed.

It is believed to have set off from north Africa and came under the suspicion of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) when it was spotted off Falmouth, Cornwall.

The 56ft yacht was tailed by a UKBA patrol vessel for 100 nautical miles up the English Channel before being intercepted off the Isle of Wight and escorted into Newhaven Harbour, East Sussex, on July 24.

During a search of the #40,000 vessel, packages of cannabis were found stashed in two holding tanks accessed through deck hatches.

The haul represents the second largest cannabis seizure in the South East so far this year, said the UKBA.

Crew members Al Turner, 53, of Hargham Heath, Attleborough, Norfolk; Mark Timothy, 59, of Sandown Close, Clacton, Essex; and skipper Johna Bouma, 64, and Franciscus De Geus, 66, both from Amsterdam, pleaded guilty last month to one count each of possession of a controlled Class B drug on board a ship.

Sentencing at Hove Crown Court, Judge Anthony Scott-Gall, jailed Turner, Timothy and Bouma to nine and a half years, and De Geus, who is suffering from terminal cancer, to five years.

All four embarked on the smuggling plan because they were in debt and were short of money, the court heard.

The judge told them: "You were playing for very high stakes and you lost, and you will have to pay your debt to society by way of punishment.

" It was careful and cleverly executed, and you were deliberately covering your tracks.''