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Hollingbourne men smuggled cocaine into UK in golf clubs

Gray Elcombe. Picture: Kent Police
Gray Elcombe. Picture: Kent Police

Two Kent men involved in smuggling almost £1m worth of drugs into the UK by hiding them in the metal shafts of golf clubs have been jailed for a total of 14 years.

Gray Elcombe (pictured top in the grey jumper) and Glen Henderson (pictured bottom) were caught with cocaine and amphetamine with a combined estimated street value of up to £950,000.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that the drugs were flown into the country from Costa Rica and then delivered to a haulage depot in Tovil.

They would then be collected by a "Richard Hart" - Henderson - and taken to the home he shared with Elcombe in Hollingbourne.

Prosecutor Alex Wilson said police raided the property in Greenway Forstal in November last year following a tip-off from the UK Borders Agency who had intercepted 72 golf clubs each containing 50g of cocaine.

Officers arranged for a dummy consignment to be delivered with an undercover cop acting as the courier. Henderson collected the cargo and was then followed on a detoured, hour-long journey to the house.

Once there they found what was described as a factory in the attic.

A total of 3kg of cocaine of 50 per cent purity and 27kg of amphetamine of 40 per cent purity was seized. Other paraphernalia included 18kg of cutting agents such as caffeine and sucrose, scales and up to £5,000 cash.

"The wholesale value of the cocaine is £182,000 but that is a conservative estimate and could reach a street value of some £550,000 depending on how it was cut and by how much it was cut," explained Mr Wilson.

He added that that the amphetamine had a wholesale value of £135,000 but could be worth up to £400,000 on the street.

Mr Wilson also told the court that investigations revealed return traffic to Costa Rica whereby a set of golf clubs had been sent back for refill.

Elcombe, who told police he was an antiques dealer, and Henderson admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply amphetamine.

Elcombe, 40, was jailed for a total of eight years and Henderson, who is also 40 and was described as a "run-around", was jailed for six years. Both men have already served 119 days on remand.

Judge Andrew Patience QC told them: "It doesn't need me to say that anyone who plays a part in the supply and distribution of drugs plays a very large part in the misery that is caused to so many people in this country."

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