Men found guilty of importing cocaine on warship

Image caption,
HMS Manchester had been involved in counter-narcotics training

Two men have been found guilty of illegally importing drugs after cocaine worth £2m was found on a warship docking in Plymouth.

Raul Beia, 39, and Dean Langley, 20, were convicted by a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court.

They were charged after cocaine was found in the locker of Beia's partner, wren Teresa Matos, on HMS Manchester.

The ship had been deployed on a counter-narcotics training mission before its return to the UK in August.

Beia, of Clapham in south-west London, and Langley, of Clem Attlee Estate in Fulham, west London, have been remanded in custody until sentencing on Friday.

'Controlling minds'

The cocaine was discovered in the lining of Matos' clothing inside her locker when the Type 42 destroyer arrived in Plymouth in August of last year.

Matos, 36, of Contsworth Court, Gateshead, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to importing the drugs.

She admitted picking up the 8.5kg haul of cocaine when HMS Manchester docked in the Colombian port of Cartagena, in South America, last July.

The ship was returning to its base in Hampshire following a seven-month deployment across the Atlantic and South Pacific for counter-narcotics training.

Matos will also be sentenced on Friday, along with another member of the smuggling gang, 34-year-old Abdul Banda, of Ashbourne Road in Ealing, west London, who admitted his part in the conspiracy.

The court has heard that Beia and Banda were the "controlling minds" behind the operation, while Matos was a courier and Langley was recruited to receive and distribute the cocaine.

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