Jail terms for cannabis gang

Three Israeli drug smugglers have been jailed for their roles in one of the biggest-smuggling plots ever intercepted by British police.

Moshe Kedar, aged 81, and Yehezkel Srebro, 57, were both sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.

Their accomplice Mordechai Hersh, 67, received an eight-year term.

The men were convicted earlier this week of planning an elaborate operation to bring more than 12 tonnes of cannabis, worth £36 million, into the country using a tugboat.

During a 15-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, jurors heard how surveillance teams from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) worked on tip-offs from Israeli intelligence officers.

The gang members were arrested in Southampton in April 2008 after more than 400 bales of Moroccan cannabis resin were found on the boat.

Serbian Dragan Stankovic, the tug’s captain, was jailed for 10 years. Six other men received sentences of between seven and nine years.

Last updated: 3:30pm, June 4 2009