Man guilty of £1.5m cannabis-smuggling operation

Karl Richter-John
Image caption Karl Richter-John conspired to smuggle more than £1.5m of cannabis into the UK

A man has been found guilty of conspiring to smuggle more than £1.5m of cannabis into the UK from South Africa.

Karl Richter-John, from Swansea, was involved in flying 650 kilos of the drug into Heathrow in October 2013.

Bristol Crown Court heard police intercepted and replaced the drugs with bricks, before undercover officers delivered it to an Avonmouth address.

Richter-John, 43, was traced to an address in Spain and extradited.

His 52-year-old father-in-law Malcolm John, from Burry Port, previously admitted to conspiring with Richter-John to import the drugs

Det Insp Austin Goss, of Avon and Somerset Police, said the men tried to "make a tremendous amount of money by importing cannabis from South Africa".

"They tried to control it through violence and exploitation of people," he added.

Claire Jones, from Burry Port, Lilly Harris-John, of Swansea, and Peter Davies, of no fixed address, were all cleared of any involvement.

After the guilty verdict, Judge Mike Roach told Richter-John: "I don't want to mislead you but you are facing a prison sentence, and it will be a substantial one."

The pair will be sentenced on 19 February.

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Cannabis worth £1.5m was discovered in a shipment sent from South Africa
Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption The consignment was intercepted at Heathrow and replaced with bricks before being driven by undercover officers to Avonmouth

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