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Saturday, August 30 2014 @ 12:27 AM EDT

Man admits part in smuggling ring

Drug Trafficking By Michael Black for the Telegraph & Argus - A Bradford man has admitted his part in international drug smuggling ring masterminded by a prisoner from his cell. Abid Latif Hussain, 22, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday to conspiracy to fraudulently evade the prohibition on the importation of drugs. The court had been told that ring leader George Moon arranged for between 2kg and 3kg of pure cocaine to be smuggled into Britain and Ireland from South America in parcels. Moon, 62, of Liverpool, co-ordinated the operation by using a mobile phone hidden in his cell at HMP Lindholme, near Doncaster, where he was serving 14 years. Moon would arrange for the parcels to be posted from Panama to addresses in Cork, Republic of Ireland, and then brought into the UK by fellow gang members. He was caught with the phone when officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) raided his cell in joint operation with the Irish police. Officers also found a notebook containing the phone numbers of other gang members and their contact in Panama. (more)

Moon yesterday pleaded guilty to four charges including conspiring to import class A drugs into the UK and Ireland, causing the smuggling of drugs into HMP Lindholme and causing the smuggling of mobile phone parts into the jail.

Fellow gang member Anthony Parry, 39, of Widnes, Cheshire, also admitted conspiracy to import class A drugs into the UK and Ireland.

Lee Standeven, 24, also of Widnes, admitted smuggling the mobile phone equipment and drugs into Lindholme.

Reporting restrictions were lifted when Abid Hussain became the final gang member to plead guilty to the charges against him.

Other members of the gang included Bilaal Khan, 27, who admitted conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK and Ireland and Harminder Singh, 25, who admitted conspiracy to import cocaine into Ireland.

Both men, from South Yorkshire, entered guilty pleas prior to this week’s hearings.

Two further gang members are currently serving prison sentences in the Republic of Ireland.

Leo Morgan, the gang’s contact in South America, was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment in Panama for cocaine offences.

The full facts of the case were not opened during the two days of hearings.

The matter was adjourned until an unspecified date next month when the gang will be sentenced.

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