A postman has been jailed after conspiring to pass on cannabis worth at least £1.2m on his round.
Adewale Aderounmu, 55, of Grandley Court, Rainsborough Avenue, Surrey Quays, Deptford, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey last year to one charge of conspiring to supply drugs and was on Friday, March 9, sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison at the same court.
The court heard how Aderounmu, who had been a Parcelforce Worldwide driver for over a decade, was arrested after Border Force officers noticed an unusually high number of seized drugs packages had been posted to addresses on Aderounmu’s delivery route.
The next one they detected, weighing six kilograms, in October 2016, was addressed to a non-existent address in the NW1 postcode area of north-west London. But when they replaced it with a dummy package, he handed it to a man at a different address on the same street. He was arrested in a joint operation by Border Force officials and National Crime Agency officers, with the help of the Parcelforce Worldwide security team.
Further checks revealed that a large number of previously-seized drugs parcels had all been addressed to post codes beginning either NW10 or NW11 – the route delivered by Aderounmu. Between 2010 and 2016, around 100 parcels posted from overseas containing drugs with a street value of £1.2m were intercepted and seized by Border Force officials – all had been posted to NW10 or NW11 addresses, often originating from Nigeria or South Africa.
Analysis of Aderounmu’s bank account revealed regular cash deposits of between £100 and £400 were received between 2014 and 2016. The payments ended in October 2016 after Aderounmu had been arrested.
Adrian Flasher, from the CPS, said: “Adewale Aderounmu was an experienced delivery driver who took advantage of his position to enrich himself, by intercepting and passing on significant amounts of cannabis for cash, in turn exploiting the international parcel delivery system for his own financial gain.
“By analysing the pattern of the Border Force drugs seizures, and Aderounmu’s banking records, together with the use of other proactive techniques, the prosecution was able to build a compelling case against him.
“The CPS worked closely with investigators and customs officials from a very early stage to compile the evidence and build a prosecution strategy, with the result that Aderounmu was left with no alternative but to admit his guilt.”
Steve McIntyre, senior investigations manager at the National Crime Agency, said: “It’s extremely important that smuggling routes like these are detected and the offenders who set them up and use them are brought to justice.
“The issue of corrupt insiders is taken extremely seriously by the NCA in its mission to protect the public. With their privileged access they are crucial enablers of a wide range of criminality. In this case, we worked closely with the Parcelforce Worldwide security team to secure an arrest.”