TWO men jailed for helping import millions of pounds worth of cocaine from Malaga into Portsmouth had their jail sentences increased by 10 years at the Court of Appeal today.
The court increased the jail sentence of Michael Ebanks, of Orpington, from 15 years to 20 years for conspiracy to import cocaine.
His accomplice, Mark West, of Purley, had his sentence of 14 years increased to 19 years for conspiracy to import cocaine.
The offenders helped to import cocaine into the UK between April 1, 2011 and October 19, 2012.
They were caught when customs officers stopped a lorry and trailer on October 18, 2012 at Portsmouth International Port.
The officers found 52 kilos of high-purity cocaine, with a street value of between £4.8m and £10.4m, hidden within wooden pallets on board.
Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, said: ‘If this haul had made its way to the streets, then the lives of youngsters who could have bought the drugs would almost certainly have been put in danger.
‘Drug dealers should be warned that the court found that the original sentences of 14 and 15 years were unduly lenient and increased them.
‘The increase should send a clear message to commercial drug suppliers: when caught, you will be subject to lengthy prison sentences.’