Four men behind bars after £10m cocaine haul smuggled in waffle van

Police made the seizure during a raid at DM Kitchens in Hillington, Glasgow, on June 22, 2019.

Four men behind bars after £10m cocaine haul smuggled in waffle van Police Scotland
Jailed: James Davidson and David Mullarkey.

Four men have been jailed for a total of 22 years after a cocaine haul worth nearly £10m was found hidden in the back of a van.

Police made the seizure during a raid at DM Kitchens in Hillington, Glasgow, on June 22, 2019.

The drugs had been smuggled from England in an HGV lorry supposedly transporting waffles and were transferred into a modified Ford Transit.

Undercover officers – who could hear drilling, sawing and banging noises coming from the vehicles – struck after watching the men work for around an hour, moving items from the HGV into the van.

James Davidson, 58, David Mullarkey, 47, Ellis Hardy, 42, and Wayne Smith, 39, admitted facilitating the transportation and distribution of the cocaine and were sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Davidson, of Glasgow, and Mullarkey, of North Lanarkshire, were each sentenced to six years and three months in jail. Hardy was sentenced to five years, while Smith will spend four years and six months behind bars.

Behind bars: Ellis Hardy and Wayne Smith.Police Scotland
Behind bars: Ellis Hardy and Wayne Smith.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs) said police had tailed Hardy and Smith as part of an intelligence-led investigation.

The pair, from Mitcham in England, were followed as they drove the white van up to Scotland.

Meanwhile, Davidson drove the HGV up to the same meeting point at DM Kitchens, which was owned by Mullarkey.

Following the search, 30kg of high-purity cocaine was seized.

Copfs said if adulterated to a lower purity level, the drugs could have been worth up to £9.96m.

The HGV was also searched and was found to have been modified to conceal packages. The packages of cocaine found inside the Transit van were the right size and shape to fit in the HGV hide.

Stephen McGowan, deputy crown agent for serious casework, said: “A significant quantity of cocaine was prevented from reaching Scotland’s streets thanks to the intelligence received in this investigation.

“Drugs do great harm to communities across Scotland and we will continue to work as a key part of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to protect those communities.”

Copfs said applications have been made for Serious Crime Prevention Orders against all four men.

Following the sentencing, detective superintendent Craig Wilson said: “There is no doubt that the seizure of this cocaine caused a massive disruption in the supply of drugs.

“This cocaine was destined for the streets of Scotland, causing untold misery and damage in our communities.

“The men involved thought their methods of concealing the drugs would protect them from detection. However, their arrest proves that is not the case.

“I want to assure the public that we will continue to target anyone involved in this type of activity, disrupting and dismantling their drug route networks whenever and wherever we can.”