Man found with £3m of 'Ecuadorian cocaine' in boot of Smart Car on M25 jailed for 8 years
A MAN found with £3million worth of cocaine labelled as coming from an Ecuadorian drugs network in the boot of his car on the M25 has been jailed for eight years and three months.
Sam Migliorini, 32, of Shaw Avenue, Barking, (pictured above) was stopped in a grey Smart Car between junction 24 and 25 of the M25 near Enfield, north London, by detectives from the Met Police Specialist Crime Command in an intelligence-led operation on October 1.
Migliorini, who was driving the vehicle, was detained and was taken to a car park nearby off the A10 in Enfield, north London, with the vehicle.
HAUL: All the drugs laid out (Met Police)
Officers searched Migliorini, and the car, and found a large black holdall in the boot, which contained 30 one kilogram blocks of cocaine – estimated to have a street value of £3million. The blocks were labelled ‘C.E.N.G – Cartel Ecuador Nueva Generacion’.
Migliorini was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply and taken to an east London police station.
The Smart car was taken to a secure location where it could be thoroughly searched and officers found the vehicle contained a sophisticated hide, which ran the width of the car underneath the front passenger seat and driver's seat.
The hide was operated via a magnet being placed on the centre console below the gearstick. This then lifted up the front passenger seat to reveal the hide, which was empty.
Hides are commonly used within vehicles utilised by organised criminal networks in a bid to avoid detection if stopped by police.
PROUD: Migliorini with car in a Facebook post (Sam Migliorini/Facebook)
An encrypted mobile phone was also found inside the vehicle. Organised criminal networks commonly use encrypted devices so communication can be made securely, with the aim of avoiding detection from the police and other crime agencies.
As part of their enquiries, officers carried out a search warrant at Migliorini’s home address in Barking. When Migliorini was arrested, he had a Mercedes car key and what officers suspected was a safe key in his possession.
As detectives arrived at his home address, they saw a grey Mercedes leave. The vehicle was found shortly after, parked up and unattended in Shaw Avenue near the address. The driver wasn't found. The Mercedes key which Migliorini had on him opened the vehicle. Detectives searched the car, which Migliorini was insured on, and found a safe in the boot. The other key Migliorini had on him opened the safe and officers found about £15,000 in cash inside.
SEIZURE: The drugs as found in bag in boot (Met Police)
Migliorini was further arrested for possession of criminal property.
He answered no comment to all questions put to him in his police interview and he was subsequently charged on Friday, October 2.
Migliorini pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 23 to possession of a Class A drug (cocaine) with intent to supply, and possession of criminal property.
He was sentenced the same day.
Detective Sergeant Gemma Brown, from the Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a significant seizure of Class A drugs and this a great example of how officers are tirelessly working to disrupt the supply of drugs.
“The people who are involved in the supply of drugs clearly have very little regard for the chaos of violence that comes with it. Seizures such as this stop drugs reaching the streets of London, where they have the potential to cause great harm to people and communities.
“Criminals who think they can use things such as hides and encrypted devices to evade capture are wrong – you will be caught and brought to justice.”
Over a third of Colombia’s cocaine production is now thought to flows into Ecuador, according to Ecuadorean anti-narcotics sources for Insight Crime, which analyses organised crime trends.
It is then despatched across the globe from the country’s ports, coastline and airports.