A FUGITIVE suspected of being the sixth member of an international drugs ring is being hunted by the UK’s national crime agency.
Stuart Mottram jnr, from Sunderland, is wanted for questioning in relation to his involvement in a £7million plot to import drugs into the country.
Mottram, son of notorious Wearside criminal Stuart “Benny the Brick” Mottram snr who died in September 2011, is believed to be on the run in Holland.
Last week, the Echo revealed how Sandro Farini, of Newbottle, was jailed for masterminding a plot to bring vast quantities of rare, 100 per cent pure amphetamine sulphate into the UK from Europe.
The 47-year-old, of Newbottle, who was under surveillance by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), was heard bragging he expected to make up to £15million through his illegal dealings.
At Newcastle Crown Court, Farini and his right-hand man Jaswinder Sahota were each jailed for seven years.
As part of the case, it was revealed SOCA was hunting Mottram as part of inquiries.
Adrian Strong, prosecuting, said: “Stuart Mottram is linked to this investigation. The gang were connected to him.
“He is on the run in Holland.”
The gang carried out what was described as a “sophisticated conspiracy”, using pre-paid mobile phones and coded messages to arrange the importation of the drugs.
The mob was arrested after a member was caught with liquid amphetamine, worth £5.28million on the streets.
It was found stored in six 10 litre containers in the cabin of his lorry at Coquelles in France in October.
A second seizure was made in February during an exchange at a car park in Doxford Park, Sunderland.
An estimated £2.04million worth of the drug was then recovered.
The gang had been under surveillance by specialist undercover officers who had tracked them using 13 different phone boxes in the North East to organise their deals, with contacts in Belgium and Holland.
Farini, of Grange View, Newbottle, and Sahota, 47, of Keats Avenue, Derby, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a Class B drug.
SOCA’s efforts to trace Mottram jnr are ongoing.
Mottram’s father was jailed in July 2010.
The then 66-year-old, of Orchard House, Belford Street, was put behind bars for two years for conspiracy to supply cocaine after police raided industrial estate premises in Pallion.
Detectives discovered 10 wraps of crack cocaine and even as they searched the unit, customers turned up in the hope of buying drugs.
Mottram was ordered to pay back £1,226 following the case at Newcastle Crown Court.