Used car dealer jailed for 12 years as he admits masterminding £7m ‘Deliveroo drugs ring’

  • Car dealer has his secret drugs business exposed by police
  • Robert Fuller used his Norwich used car dealership as part of his £7m illegal operation
  • 50-year-old even disguised couriers as Deliveroo drivers to avoid detection
  • He has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars

Time 8:58 am, November 10, 2023

The owner of a used car dealership in Norwich has been jailed after he was unmasked as the mastermind behind the £7m ‘Deliveroo drugs ring’.

Robert Fuller disguised couriers as Deliveroo drivers and used his second-hand car business to launder money and import huge quantities of cocaine and cannabis into the country.

His huge operation was eventually uncovered when police discovered encrypted messages relating to the plot, leading the 50-year-old to flee to Bali in an attempt to evade justice.

The dealer – dubbed ‘The Drugs Baron Norfolk Broads’ –was eventually captured as he tried to re enter the UK via an Ireland to Anglesey ferry in January of last year.

He has now appeared at Norwich Crown Court where he was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for leading the audacious criminal enterprise.

Robert Fuller. ©ERSOU

The court heard that the scheme fell apart when police infiltrated the now defunct messaging service ‘EncroChat’, which was used primarily by criminals.

Earlier this year, Car Dealer reported how another motor trader was jailed for 20 years after using the service to organise a £30,000 a week drug operation.

Fuller’s exchanges included messages about dressing drug runners in fake Deliveroo outfits to avoid detection as well plans to import liquid cocaine from Peru in jars of asparagus.

He also attempted to buy a Russian Makarov handgun using his handle ‘Quasifighter’ and planned to use recovery trucks from his used car business to move both drugs and cash.

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The messages were uncovered by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which said Fuller had been involved in selling and distributing 159kg of cocaine – worth around £6.5m – and 98kg of cannabis worth around £364,000, between February 2019 and June 2020.

A later search of his home and car sales business in August 2021 uncovered the Deliveroo uniforms mentioned in his chats and a vehicle with secret drugs hides.

The fake Deliveroo uniforms found by police. ©ERSOU

He admitted to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis in April 2022 and will now spend the coming years in prison, following a sentencing hearing yesterday (October 31).

Detective Inspector Jim Fincham, from ERSOU’s regional organised crime unit, said: ‘Robert Fuller was a high-level criminal who, it’s clear, played a significant role in selling class A drugs across the UK.

‘He went to great lengths to mask his activity, using hides in vehicles and disguised couriers to move cash and drugs, and laundering the illicit cash through a car sales company.

The secret space Fuller used to hide drugs in one of his vehicles. ©ERSOU

‘Despite Fuller’s attempts to evade justice, our diligent investigators continued their enquiries after he had left the county, and police were waiting the moment he arrived back into the UK.

‘Our region is a safer place now that he is behind bars, and I’d like to thank everyone involved in bringing him to justice.’

Main pic: Norwich Crown Court, where Fuller was sentenced. ©PA Images

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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