Chart-topping rapper Nines jailed for plot to import 28kg of cannabis

Some of the cannabis was hidden in boilers being sent to the UK

Lamiat Sabin
Saturday 02 October 2021 00:17
<p>The 31-year-old Mobo Awards winner admitted to importing one lot of cannabis and attempting another shipment </p>

The 31-year-old Mobo Awards winner admitted to importing one lot of cannabis and attempting another shipment

Chart-topping rapper Nines has been jailed for 28 months for importing 28kg of cannabis.

The musician, real name Courtney Freckleton, 31, went by the name “Big Boss” in the cannabis importing operation.

The father-of-two used the encrypted messaging service Encrochat to message an unknown exporter who used the handle “MicroBird” to arrange shipments of cannabis to the UK.

Some of the cannabis was imported inside boilers sent from Spain and Poland, the court heard.

Nines appeared at Harrow Crown Court in north-west London on Friday alongside Jason Thompson, 35.

Nines, of Barbican, central London, and Thompson, of Barnet, north London, admitted conspiracy to import cannabis into the UK from Poland and Spain, and conspiracy to transfer criminal cash between 10 March and 3 July last year.

The plot involved one successful importation and a second attempted one, with a total amount of 28kg, the court heard.

In sentencing Nines and Thompson to 28 months in prison each, Judge Rosa Dean said: “What a waste of all of that talent, to be sat in Wormwood Scrubs.”

Prosecutor Genevieve Reed said the money laundering charge related to a £98,000 debt, the value of the drugs, and the use of cryptocurrency to buy the cannabis.

The men were arrested in June in police raids across London and Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, in an operation following on from the infiltration of Encrochat.

The network, used by thousands of criminals around the world, was brought down by law enforcement last year after it had been hacked by French investigators.

Nines has previously been imprisoned for 18 months for possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He was named best hip-hop act at the Mobo Awards last year and topped the UK album chart with his third studio release Crabs In A Bucket, which also won album of the year.

Additional reporting by PA