Drug smugglers who hid £11m of cocaine in bananas thwarted by police sting

Drug smugglers attempting to sneak 139kg of cocaine worth £11m into the UK hidden in bananas were caught by National Crime Agency officers.

The four were arrested after opening a shipping container at London Gateway port they believed contained the drugs in April 2022.

Robert Ball, 59, Mirgent Shahu, 32, Florjan Ibra, 30, and Arman Kaviani, 37, were charged with conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug.

Ball and Shahu, of Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, were jailed for 18 years.

Ibra, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 13-and-a-half years and Kaviani, of Golders Green, London, was jailed for 12 years and nine months.