Man jailed for smuggling £400,000 of cannabis through Hornsey in grand piano

11:34 11 May 2012

The cannabis was hidden inside a grand piano.

The cannabis was hidden inside a grand piano.

Archant

»A drug smuggler who stashed more than £400,000-worth of cannabis in a grand piano has been jailed for six years.

Evan Masson, 34, arranged for the consignment to be shipped from his native South Africa to a disused warehouse in Tottenham Lane, Hornsey.

The former sound engineer boasted to a friend in a text: “My sh** arrived today. Will be in my hands probably by Tuesday. We’ll never go hungry again.”

He enlisted construction boss and fellow South African Brian Beangstrom, 60, of Wightman Road, Harringay, to help him transport the consignment, paying him just £360 to help out.

But they were caught red-handed by customs officers as they prised open the piano crate at the Hornsey warehouse last October.

The shipment – containing 143.9kgs of the class B drug worth £414,000 on the street – had been under surveillance for a week after it was intercepted by UK Border Agency officials in Felixstowe.

Masson, of Drayton Park, Highbury, took a leading role in organising the drug shipment and stood to make a “significant financial reward” said Judge Timothy Pontius.

His defence counsel claimed in court his “dire financial situation was the catalyst” for the crime.

Scott Ivill, defending father-of-two and grandfather Beangstrom, said his client believed until a late stage that they were collecting a family heirloom.

Sentencing him to 18 months in prison, Judge Pontius told Beangstrom: “It is a tragedy that someone of mature years with a commendable employment background and your lack of significant previous offences should be tempted into crime of this scale for paltry reward.”

Both men had admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis and will be deported to South Africa upon release.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:26
The super-cute miniscule monkey currently measures just three inches tall (Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

The newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo measures just three inches tall and was spotted by keepers clinging tightly onto her mum during their daily rounds.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:59
Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 101 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A war memorial in south London was set on fire by vandals just days before the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

Yoou might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more