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Gloucestershire Business News

Men deny conspiracy to import cannabis

Two men who deny conspiracy to import 141 kilograms of cannabis into Cirencester from Holland will stand jury trial next May, a Gloucester judge ruled today.

Lorry driver John Lader, 50, of Voorschoten in the Netherlands and Mohammed Abdulrehman, 25, of Golbourne Ave, Manchester entered not guilty pleas at Gloucester crown court today.

Both men were charged with conspiring together, and with others unknown, to avoid the prohibition on the importation of cannabis between 1st and 30th October this year.

The court heard that Mr Lader maintains that he believed his lorry contained tobacco and not a controlled drug.

Mr Abdulrehman's lawyer, Michael Goldwater said his client "does not dispute the primary facts.

"He was going to receive cannabis, and to move it.

"But he vehemently denies that he was part of a conspiracy to import cannabis," the barrister told Judge Ian Lawrie QC.

The judge fixed the trial date for 13th May next year, and ordered a pre-trial hearing for 11th March.

Both men were remanded in custody until the next hearing.

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