A man from Orpington who was involved in a plot to send £4.3 million worth of crystal meth to Australia has been jailed. 

Robert Hamilton, 53, worked together with Kevin Filkins, 54, from Sevenoaks, and Yvonne Stewart, 55, from Croydon, to send the drugs from London to New South Wales. 

An investigation was launched after 24 kilograms of crystal meth was seized by Australia’s Border Force upon arrival from the UK. 

It was established that the drugs had been sent from Croydon on June 25, 2021, with CCTV images identifying Stewart, who was a corrupt insider, carrying out the security inspection of the package. 

Your Local Guardian: Yvonne Stewart was a corrupt insider in the cargo sectorYvonne Stewart was a corrupt insider in the cargo sector (Image: NCA)CCTV images also captured Filkins sending the drug shipment, which was labelled ‘two glass Buddhas’. 

The package did not contain anything except unconcealed crystal meth. 

Phone records showed that Hamilton had acted as the middleman between Filkins and Stewart. 

The trio had sent two other shipments to Australia in June, and the named senders on each were individuals who had their passports stolen. 

One of the stolen passports was recovered in a search of Filkins’ home. 

Your Local Guardian: Robert Hamilton, 53, from OrpingtonRobert Hamilton, 53, from Orpington (Image: NCA)They were each convicted by a jury at Croydon Crown Court and on Friday (May 31) they were jailed. 

Filkins and Stewart were each jailed for 12 years, while Hamilton was sentenced to 12 years and six months. 

Richard Smith, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: “This organised crime group sought to make huge profits by trafficking dangerous drugs to Australia. 

“They used Stewart’s inside knowledge of the cargo industry to try to ensure their shipments made it overseas. 

“We worked closely with the Australian Federal Police to dismantle this criminal supply chain and protect the public in both countries from the impact of the illegal drugs trade.” 

Detective Superintendent Callum Hughes, AFP senior officer in London, said: "This outcome should serve as a warning to those who seek to undertake this type of criminal activity; the risk of lengthy imprisonment far outweighs the short term benefits of your actions.

"The AFP through its officers based in London has an excellent relationships with UK law enforcement agencies such as the NCA and the chances of any group or individual being identified and prosecuted for this type of criminal behaviour has never been higher."