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03.08.2004 Diaspora News

Ophelia Amoabeng's Sentence Reduced, but....

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A Drugs baron jailed for 18 years for running a huge cocaine smuggling operation has failed to get his sentence reduced.

Gregory Fraser, of Kingston Wharf, Hull Marina, was jailed last year for conspiring to supply class A drugs and gun offences.

His lawyers argued the sentence was too long because Fraser had pleaded guilty. But judge Lord Justice Baker said the 30-year-old Dutch national had been the "leader" of the plot.

The judge said: "This sentence could in no way be regarded as manifestly excessive."

Fraser's cousin, Martelino, 25, also failed in his bid to have his three-and-a-half year sentence for having a prohibited weapon reduced.

A number of Fraser's cohorts, however, did have their sentences reduced at London's Court of Appeal.

Raja Tarafdar, 22, of Hertfordshire Close, Hull, Joel Forbes, 34, of Doncaster and Ophelia Amoabeng, 33, originally from Ghana, all won reduced jail terms.

Tarafdar's eight years for money laundering was reduced to seven, Forbes' eight-and-a-half years for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs was reduced to seven-and-a-half and Amoabeng's four years for money laundering was reduced to two-and-a-half.

Lord Justice Baker said the original jail terms given to each of them were too long for their level of "criminality" and considering their guilty pleas. In November Sheffield Crown Court heard Fraser used specially adapted cars with hollow bumpers to import large amounts of cocaine into Hull from the continent.

He also used "human mules" to carry the drugs and cash through customs.

Detectives tracked Fraser after becoming suspicious of his lavish lifestyle and smashed the operation when they stopped him and Martelino driving at high speed on Clive Sullivan Way.

Fraser was wearing body armour and there was a Glock pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition in the glove compartment.

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