A private hire driver in Swindon denies being part of a drug trafficking gang who arranged for cocaine with a street value of £200,000 to be moved between London and Wiltshire town.
Edson Monteiro de Resende is accused of bringing a kilo of cocaine into Swindon in September 2017, despite being caught on camera flashing a wad of cash, a court heard.
As reported in the Swindon Advertiser, five men, all of whom deny the charges, including the former boyfriend of Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson, are currently on trial at Bristol Crown Court charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
The court heard how de Resende, who worked for private hire firm, V Cars, had been paid £250 by fellow defendant Marcus Mawire to take £2,000 to London.
Resende, 34, a Brazilian national, claimed he was told by Mawire the money was to pay for medication for a family member who was suffering from cancer.
Resende, who wasn't booked through his operator, but rather commissioned privately by Mawire, left Swindon after 6pm, the court heard.
Just after 9pm that same evening, he arrived in Hendon, North West London, where undercover police spotted at least one man appearing to get into his car.
The court heard that a bag containing almost a kilo of cocaine was left in de Resende's vehicle by a black man.
The private hire driver claimed he had no idea what was in the bag but soon became suspicious. He said on the way home he decided to open the package to check what it was.
Resende was then seen an hour later in Waltham Abbey, where a BMW car, allegedly driven by ex-rapper and Little Mix love interest Harry Byart, pulled up alongside him. It is claimed the cash was handed over at this point.
On arrival back in Swindon, De Resende was stopped by police.
During his cross examination at court, de Resende claimed he had been angered by calls from Mawire asking him to drive to different locations around Greater London.
Archangelo Power, representing Mawire, argued whether de Resende was as angry as he claimed.
Power brought to the attention of the court a video of de Resende, which was shot after 10pm, flashing bank notes and speaking excitedly to a friend.
Speaking directly to de Resende, Power said: “You’re waving money around on screen, boasting to this man, Gabriel, how you’re going to spend it. Is that you being angry at him?."
De Resende replied: “I can be angry with him, but I’m not angry with Gabriel.”
He denied suggestions he knew what was in the package when it was initially handed over or that he had “turned a blind eye”.
Gordon, 32, formerly of Eastwood Close, London, Byart, 25, of Merlin Close, Waltham Abbey, Mawire, 24, of Milton Road, Sittingbourne, Monteiro de Resende, 34, of Pasteur Drive, Swindon, and Dean Mulholland, 28, of Limes Avenue, Swindon, deny conspiracy to supply cocaine.
The trial continues.
Image: Source; Pixabay