18 October 2017
Two members of a smuggling conspiracy have been jailed for a total of 24 years following a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.
Gillian Weldrick, 53, of Huddersfield , and Ortis Dexter Ollivierre, 45, of Barbados, were behind an attempt to bring cocaine through Manchester airport last year.
They were each sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at the city’s Minshull Street Crown Court today.
Their conspirator, Andrew McCollin, was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison in October last year after admitting importing cocaine.
The plot was detected when Border Force officers stopped McCollin at the airport in September 2016 after flying in from Barbados.
He lifted his shirt to reveal a kilo of cocaine stuffed in clear packets and wrapped around his body with bandage.
The drugs had a value to organised crime of between £28,000 and £38,000 and a street value of about £115,000.
NCA officers arrested Weldrick at the airport, where she had come to meet McCollin.
The NCA found that she and Ollivierre had paid for and arranged Andrew McCollin’s flight from Barbados.
They also discovered several unexplained payments of thousands of pounds made by Welldrick to Ollivierre in Barbados.
NCA officers arrested Ollivierre as he entered the country via Gatwick airport in May this year.
He and Weldrick were convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to import cocaine.
NCA operations manager Jon Hughes said: “In this case the criminals were bringing in cocaine, but once set up smuggling routes can be used to bring in everything from firearms to victims of modern slavery.
“Bringing to justice those who try to undermine the security of our border is a key part of the NCA’s mission to protect the public from serious and organised crime.”