Can you tell the difference between 25kg of frozen meat and 25 kg of cocaine ?

 It’s late in the day, and you’ve got to find out if it’s possible to package 25kg of frozen meat pretending to be 25 kg of cocaine into a black sports bag.  Who’re you gonna call ?

 Well, Emmersons, of course.

 Always at the forefront of scientific endeavour and understanding, the experts at Emmersons Associates were only too delighted to be given this opportunity to assist.  This unusual request was a key query in a recent £140m cocaine smuggling trial: the defendant being charged with the importation of drugs, while he was innocently expecting samples of frozen meat.

A consignment of frozen meat in a shipping container was inspected by customs officers on its way to a Wigan cold storage business, and sweetly nestled together with the meat were 16 holdalls each containing 5 x 5 kg well-wrapped packages of cocaine.  Customs officers cunningly replaced the cocaine with bricks and the shipment was allowed on its way.

The defendant was expecting the main consignment of meat together with a separate sample of meat from a different supplier, so thought nothing of finding the holdalls at the front of the shipping container and transferred them to his cold store to await collection by his client.

The defendant later put two of the holdalls into his client’s van, and the client drove off.  Obviously the client subsequently found that his cocaine was bricks and abandoned the holdall. 

 Imagine the defendant’s shock when he was arrested for being concerned with the importation of drugs!

For some reason best known to themselves, the prosecution did not believe the defendant’s version of events and disputed the idea that the holdalls could have contained meat.  The obvious solution to the problem was to prove that 25kg of frozen meat would indeed fit in the holdalls.

 This is where Emmersons enter the story.

 Morrisons were approached and were able to provide 25kg of stewing steak, vacuum packed in 5kg blocks.  The meat was wrapped in clingfilm, frozen and then packed into a holdall of the same dimensions as that found by customs officers.

The holdall and the frozen meat were then presented to the jury to provide a clear demonstration that the holdalls could have contained meat as easily as they could have contained drugs and that, on initial inspection, the identity of the contents of the wrapped packages were not obvious.

 The defendant was subsequently acquitted of the importation charge.

 Thanks are offered to Emmerson Associates, who carried out the experimentation and presented the evidence to the court and to Morrisons who were able to rise to the challenge of providing the meat at short notice.

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