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  1. jon-q
    AN international drugs trio have been jailed for a total of 26 years today for their roles in the largest ever conspiracy to import and supply skunk cannabis in the UK, worth £150 million.

    A total of eight Dutch nationals appeared before Leeds Crown Court for a 10 week trial with three of the men hearing how they will spend time behind bars for their roles in the conspiracy to import and supply cannabis to other criminal gangs within the UK, delivering the drugs into Morley.

    Using legitimate business fronts, the trio were involved in buying boxes of fresh flowers at auction and hid the drugs inside before using legitimate haulage companies to transport the boxes from Holland to England.

    After several months of investigation by West Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, it was established that between June and October 2008, the gang had orchestrated 52 deliveries of cannabis, disguised within flower boxes, to storage premises at Oak Mill on Topcliffe Lane, Morley, Pepper Road, Hunslet and The Iron Works in Bradford.

    Johannes Elmendorp, 51, of Vandans, Austria, was said to be the organiser of the operation in the UK and the sole director of Fresh Flower Concept Ltd, a UK registered company for whom consignments were destined for, to be distributed to the sites.

    Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Sally Cahill QC said he was “at the centre” of the conspiracies.

    She said: “You were seen by the police in October 2008 at Oak Mill and you were seen with your hand in the boxes, overseeing what was happening.

    “You were very much in charge.”

    She said that after police seizures in Leeds, the operation was then moved to Birmingham.

    She said: “The Leeds operation became too hot and you moved the operation to Birmingham. There you controlled the transport and the premises.

    “You knew throughout these conspiracies in 2008 and 2009 there were two deliveries a week and you knew there was a large amount of cannabis - a total amount of £140 million.

    “In respect of your involvement, you were a pivotal part in what was happening. You were a senior figure. You were in control.”

    Terence Koetsier, 23, of Rotterdam, Netherlands, was responsible for taking delivery of most of the shipments in West Yorkshire and supplying them to organised crime groups from Leeds, Birmingham and London.

    Sentencing him to two years, Judge Cahill said: “You were 19 years of age at the time of the offences. You had no employment and were just drifting in life.

    “You thought this would provide you with a future, but you did not know the full extent.

    “But at the time of Oak Mill you must have known what was going on. You were a very foolish young man.”

    She went on to say: “Without your involvement it would have still have taken place. You were used, in my view.”

    Arie Menno van Esch, 30, of Wijk en Aalburg, Netherlands, organised the delivery of the flower boxes containing cannabis and controlled the onward distribution to UK based organised crime groups.

    Jailing his for six years, the judge said he was involved with the conspiracy for 16 weeks, dealing with two deliveries a week, which totalled an estimated £35 million.

    She said: “You were fully aware of cannabis and have a previous conviction for the production of cannabis.”

    She added: “I am satisfied that you were not one of the main organisers, but you were a trusted employee. After the seizures, you got out of the country straight away. You were fully involved.”

    Jacob Schreuders, 38, and Edilson Dos Santos, 24, were both cleared by the jury of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class C and conspiracy to evade prohibition on importation of a controlled drug of class C.

    Jonathan Elmendorp, 29, Theodorus Klassen, 60, and Sajid Mahmood, 35, of Birmingham, were cleared of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class B and conspiracy to evade prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug of class B.

    Morley Observer and Advertiser 11th Aug 2011

    According to three other articles this should actually read 18 Years.


  1. jon-q
    Dutch men jailed for flower box cannabis smuggling plot

    Three Dutch men have been jailed for their part in an operation importing cannabis with a street value of up to £150m into the UK.

    The drugs, which were destined for West Yorkshire and the West Midlands, were brought into the UK during 2008 and 2009, hidden inside boxes of flowers.

    Police traced the shipments to storage units in Leeds, Bradford and Redditch.

    The Austrian organiser of the UK operation was jailed for 18 years after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

    Johannes Elmendorp, 51, of Vandans, Austria, was also banned from accessing, importing or exporting to the UK.

    'Staggering' amount

    Terence Koetsier, 22, of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, who was responsible for taking delivery of most of the shipments in West Yorkshire, was sentenced to two years in prison.

    Arie Menno van Esch, 30, of Wijk en Aalburg, The Netherlands, who organised the delivery of flower boxes, was jailed for six years.

    Five other men were cleared by the jury.

    West Yorkshire Police said the investigation had begun after it had received reports of suspicious activity at one of the storage units in Morley, Leeds.
    Officers seized cannabis with an estimated street value of £6.8m during raids on the units.

    The force said it believed the gang organised a total of 102 deliveries to the UK with an estimated weight of 16.8 tonnes, equating to £150m.

    Det Ch Insp Michael McDermott, of West Yorkshire Police's crime division, said: "This is a staggering amount of drugs which we believe has been able to enter the UK.

    "This was a complex investigation which involved working closely with West Mercia Police and the Dutch and German authorities.

    "The use of covert tactics and information sharing between law enforcement agencies proved to be the key to smashing this international criminal drugs gang and bringing the offenders to justice."

    BBC News 11th Aug 2011

  2. Moving Pictures
    Yeah, I was gonna say, the ringleader gets 18 months and the kid who got "used" gets 24? That didn't sound right.

    BTW, what is "skunk" cannabis?
  3. shroooom
    Skunk is slang for high grade stuff. Female plant that has been deprived of male presence so they make more THC. You won't find any seeds in a bag of skunk. Usually grown with the aide of chemicals. I'm no expert in the field but many people keep saying generally the same thing to describe skunk.
  4. jon-q
    I always assumed that a female plant that hadn’t been pollinated and didn’t produce seeds was referred to as “Sinsemilla”, i believe the term is Spanish and the translation into English means “Without Seeds” or “Seedless”

    Assuming you weren’t being facetious here???

    The media refer to Skunk Cannabis as any strong strain of Marijuana that has a potent aroma, i think in the real world Skunk generally refers to a Hybrid breed of Cannabis that has been specifically cross bred to achieve high potency, a strong pungent aroma, reduced but compact height characteristics to aid indoor growing and a quick growth and flowering cycle.

    I think Skunk is a term that’s generally used by people to describe a plant that meets the above requirements, regardless of the actual strain that it happens to be.

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