Moshe’s Mafia leaders get nine years for £36m cannabis plot

The Israeli masterminds of one of the biggest smuggling operations ever intercepted by British police have been jailed.

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.
They will be deported from Britain after completing their sentences, handed down at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday last week.

Earlier the men were convicted 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, 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.
Officers believe the haul, if it had gone undetected, would have led to over three million street deals.

Srebro and Hersh were jailed in Israel in 1994 after establishing an ecstasy factory in Holland.

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

    Last updated: 12:47pm, June 11 2009