(CNN)Two men have been jailed for attempting to smuggle $341,875 (£250,000) worth of cocaine in baked beans and condensed coconut milk tins.
Kelly and Gilhooly, both aged 43, sent two parcels described as tinned goods from St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, to southeast London in December 2018.
However, subsequent forensic inspection found that the parcels contained 2.742 kg of cocaine.
The men were able to reseal the cans using a machine can sealer and blank tin lids they had bought earlier, alongside numerous items that would later be sold in St. Lucia, according to a further joint investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police.
Both men in December 2018 flew from London to St. Lucia, where they told officials that they were going on holiday, and a can sealer was documented inside their luggage.
Kelly mailed the parcels, later discovered to contain cocaine, from a post office in St. Lucia, where he used a fake driving license as identification.
Kelly and Gilhooly were arrested in January 2020 and March 2020 respectively, before being charged in April 2021 for importing Class A drugs into the UK, the press statement said.
“This should send a clear and strong message to those intent on penetrating our borders that offences of this nature are taken very seriously and we will leave no stone unturned in bringing them to justice,” Detective Inspector Matthew Webb, from the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime teams, said in a statement.
“The miserable effect that drugs supply has on our communities is undeniable and inextricably linked to violence within our communities.
“I hope this provides them the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour and demonstrates that crime doesn’t pay,” Webb added.