Jailed: Fairlop locksmith stashed 15 kg of cocaine in van's hidden compartment

Fairlop locksmith Alex Guest has been jailed

Fairlop locksmith Alex Guest has been jailed for 11 years after 15kg of cocaine were discovered hidden in a secret compartment in his van. - Credit: Met Police

A Fairlop locksmith has been jailed after officers recovered 15 kilograms of cocaine - worth £1.5million - from a hidden compartment behind key cutting equipment in his van.

Alex Guest, 40, of Boleyn Way, was sentenced to 11 years and three months imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday, March 30. 

Hidden compartment to stash drugs in locksmith van

On Monday, April 20, 2020 police discovered this elaborate hidden compartment which was operated by hydraulic arms, behind locksmith cutting equipment. - Credit: Met Police

He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of criminal property at the same court last June.

On Monday, April 20 last year at about 7.20pm, officers from the Met's Specialist Crime Command stopped a van on the M11, near the junction with the A406, in Redbridge. 

It happened as part of an intelligence-led operation targeting drugs supply.

Locksmith van pulled over in Redbridge containing 15 kilos of cocaine.

Police pulled over Guest driving this locksmith van in Redbridge as part of an intelligence-led operation targeting the supply of Class A drugs. - Credit: Met Police


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Officers searched the van, which was driven by Guest, and found an elaborate hidden compartment.

The compartment was concealed within a partition wall of the van and was operated by hydraulic arms, behind locksmith cutting equipment.

Within the hide in the van, police discovered more than 15 kilos of cocaine, worth almost £1.5 million. 

Within the hide in the van, police discovered more than 15 kilos of cocaine, worth £1.5 million. - Credit: Met Police

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Within the hide, officers found a bag containing more than 15 kg of cocaine.

A number of mobile phones were also found inside the van, along with a set of electronic scales and a sophisticated communications device known as EncroChat.

Guest was arrested on suspicion with intent to supply Class A drugs (cocaine).

Detectives carried out a search at his home and recovered more than £129,000 in cash.

Alex Guest mugshot

Alex Guest, 40, of Boleyn Way was sentenced to 11 years and three months' imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of criminal property. - Credit: Met Police

Another address linked to Guest was also searched where they recovered two hydraulic press machines.

He was further arrested on suspicion of possession of criminal property.

During his police interview, Guest answered no comment to all the questions put to him.

Detective Constable Russell McIntyre, from Specialist Crime, said: “Guest was part of an organised network importing large amounts of cocaine into the UK almost routinely.

"Using his legitimate locksmith business as cover, he thought he could conceal his involvement by using an elaborate hide – he failed.

“This investigation is an example of great team work which led to us taking a huge quantity of harmful Class A drugs off the streets of London.

“Drugs blight communities and ruin lives and we will continue to robustly target those responsible for bringing them into the capital.”

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