Prison sentences for heroin smuggling in cans of tomato paste

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Two men from Berghem and Veghel have been sentenced to more than seven years for smuggling more than 1200 kilos of heroin in 2014. The stuff was hidden in tins of tomato paste.

The heroin was discovered when customs checked two trucks in Venlo. The cargo consisted of cans of tomato paste containing a total of 1224 kilos of heroin. The value was then estimated at around 21.5 million euros. The drugs came from Iran and were destined for the Netherlands.

One of the truckers had his cargo checked by customs himself. He did not trust the contents of his transport because he had never transported tomato paste from Iran to the Netherlands in his 25-year career, writes 1Limburg. In Turkey he had already asked the customs authorities to examine the cargo, but the heroin was not found during the inspection.

In 2015, a 49-year-old and a 57-year-old suspect from Berghem were arrested. According to the Public Prosecution Service, they had organized the transport.

Lower sentences because the case took too long

The judge considers it proven that the two men imported the heroin. The 49-year-old man has also been convicted of arson at a Turkish restaurant in Eindhoven. The 57-year-old was also convicted of having a cannabis farm in his home.

The Public Prosecution Service had demanded a prison sentence of 11.5 years and 8.5 years against the two, but the judge imposed 7.5 years in prison on the 49-year-old man. The other suspect was sentenced to six years in prison.

The penalties are therefore slightly lower. That’s because it took so long for the case to be heard. According to the court, the men have been given a reduced sentence of two and 2.5 years because they exceeded the reasonable term.

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