Saturday, February 24, 2007


"A former public schoolboy who masterminded a £3m plot to smuggle wooden doors impregnated with liquid cocaine into Britain was jailed yesterday for 18 years. Paul Sneath, 24, of Guildford, Surrey, came up with a "unique" plot using sheets of plywood, liquid cocaine, industrial solvent, and cheese graters.

In 2005, after inheriting £250,000, the Bristol University dropout travelled to Panama where he arranged for plywood to be soaked in liquid cocaine and sealed inside doors elaborately patterned with parrots. The doors were then shipped from Panama to his family home, where his unknowing mother signed for them and paid £798 for the shipping costs.

Sneath then transferred the doors to a lock-up in Dalston, east London, where members of a Colombian gang removed the plywood, shaved it with cheese graters and mixed the shavings with heated solvent. Police caught the gang red-handed before they had a chance to dry the precipitate and chop it into powder. The doors were found to have been impregnated with 17.3kg of pure cocaine, with a street value in excess of £3.2m.

Sneath, who had no previous criminal record, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine at Inner London crown court."


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