A corrupt postal delivery driver, Adewale Aderounmu, who conspired to intercept and supply cannabis worth at least £1.2m which had been sent to addresses in north London has been jailed.
Braitain’s National Crime Agency said, Aderounmu, 55, of south London, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey last year to one charge of conspiring to supply drugs and was recently sentenced to 7.5 years in prison at the same court.
The court heard how Aderounmu, who had been a Parcelforce Worldwide driver for over a decade, was arrested after Border Force officers noticed an unusually high number of intercepted drugs packages had been posted to addresses on Aderounmu’s delivery route.
On one occasion in October 2016, Border Force officials intercepted a parcel containing almost 6kg of cannabis addressed to a non-existent address in NW1. This seizure was replaced with a substitute ‘dummy’ package and following surveillance Aderounmu was arrested by National Crime Agency officers as he handed over the package to another man on the street.
Further checks revealed that a large number of previously-seized drugs parcels had all been addressed to post codes beginning either NW1 0 or NW1 1 – the route delivered by Aderounmu. Between 2010 and 2016, around 100 parcels posted from overseas containing drugs with a street value of £1.2m were intercepted and seized by Border Force officials – all had been posted to NW1 0 or NW1 1 addresses, often originating from Nigeria or South Africa.
Analysis of Aderounmu’s bank account revealed regular cash deposits of between £100 and £400 were received between 2014 and 2016. The payments ceased in October 2016 after Aderounmu had been arrested.
Steve McIntyre, senior investigations manager at the National Crime Agency, said: “It’s extremely important that smuggling routes like these are detected and the offenders who set them up and use them are brought to justice.
“The issue of corrupt insiders is taken extremely seriously by the NCA in its mission to protect the public. With their privileged access they are crucial enablers of a wide range of criminality. In this case, we worked closely with the Parcelforce Worldwide security team to secure an arrest.”
Adrian Flasher, from the CPS, said: “Adewale Aderounmu was an experienced delivery driver who took advantage of his position to enrich himself, by intercepting and passing on significant amounts of cannabis for cash, in turn exploiting the international parcel delivery system for his own financial gain.
“By analysing the pattern of the Border Force drugs seizures, and Aderounmu’s banking records, together with the use of other proactive techniques, the prosecution was able to build a compelling case against him.
“The CPS worked closely with investigators and customs officials from a very early stage to compile the evidence and build a prosecution strategy, with the result that Aderounmu was left with no alternative but to admit his guilt.”