Sandro Farini, 47, owner of the Skiff In pub in Gateshead, has been jailed for 7 years after being caught smuggling more that £7m worth of high purity narcotics into the UK.

Farini’s number two, Jaswinder Sahota, trusted lieutenant Ian Henderson and drivers Jeffery Robeson and David Stacey have all also been given lengthy jail sentences.

Farini used contacts around the UK, Belgium and Holland to run the operation, which was uncovered by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in October last year. Police had Farini and his gang under surveillance when police in France stopped lorry driver Jeffery Robson. The search discovered over £5m worth of pure liquid amphetamine hidden in fuel containers. A few months later another haul of the same drug, this time worth £2m, was seized.

In February the group were arrested, and all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a class B drug.

Defence barrister, Brian Dean, said none of the men had been in trouble before.

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