Drug courier Robert Clifford sentenced for transporting £3.5 million worth of cocaine into Scotland

Police Scotland has announced the sentencing of a drug courier who transported almost £3.5 million worth of cocaine into Scotland.

Robert Clifford, 54), also known as Robert Stewart, was sentenced to five years in prison, after he was caught with around 65 kilograms of the Class A drug, with a street value of £3.354 million, in the HGV lorry he was driving (Photo: Police Scotland)

54-year-old Robert Clifford, also known as Robert Stewart, was sentenced to five years in prison at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Clifford, from Renfrewshire, was caught with around 65 kilograms of the Class A drug – with a street value of £3.354 million – in an HGV lorry he was driving.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He was seen putting two cases into the lorry in Kensington, London.

Clifford was arrested by police officers in Lanarkshire on May 28 last year.

The drug courier’s arrest came during an operation into serious and organised crime involving the National Crime Agency which also resulted in the takedown of Encrochat, an encrypted global communication service used almost exclusively by criminals.

Clifford pled guilty to the charges when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh in March this year.

Speaking about Clifford, Gerry McLean, NCA Regional Head of Investigations for Scotland said: “He had no consideration of the devastating effects that these drugs could have, and the violence and exploitation that they bring to Scottish communities.

“Removing Clifford from the chain will have dealt a serious blow to the criminal networks he worked for.”

Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said: “Drugs do great harm to communities across Scotland and with each case of this kind we can help reduce that harm.

“It is thanks to intelligence that we were able to stop these drugs from reaching Scotland’s streets, and this kind of operation is invaluable to us as prosecutors working with our partners.

“We will continue to work as a key part of the Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce to protect those communities.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Police Scotland's Head of Organised Crime, said: "Keeping our communities safe and free from the nefarious activities of organised criminals remains an absolute priority for Police Scotland and I welcome the conviction and sentencing of Clifford.

"Officers work tirelessly to disrupt these activities and the intelligence-led operations, undertaken with our policing and law enforcement partners, led to some of the largest seizures of drugs made in Scotland.

"We continue to work closely with our UK and European law enforcement partners, underlining our determination to target those involved."

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.