Two men who deny conspiracy to import 141 kilograms of cannabis into Cirencester from Holland will stand jury trial next May.

Lorry driver John Lader, 50, of Voorschoten in the Netherlands and Mohammed Abdulrehman, 25, of Golbourne Ave, Manchester, entered not guilty pleas at Gloucester crown court on Wednesday, December 5.

Both men were charged with conspiring together, and with others unknown, to avoid the prohibition on the importation of cannabis between October 1 and 30 this year.

The court heard that Mr Lader maintains that he believed his lorry contained tobacco and not a controlled drug.

Mr Abdulrehman's lawyer, Michael Goldwater said his client “does not dispute the primary facts.

“He was going to receive cannabis, and to move it.

“But he vehemently denies that he was part of a conspiracy to import cannabis,” the barrister told Judge Ian Lawrie QC.

The judge fixed the trial date for May 13 next year, and ordered a pre-trial hearing for March 11.

Both men were remanded in custody until the next hearing.