Border Force operation catches criminals smuggling cocaine into Southampton

Daily Echo: Jail for £300m drug haul gang Jail for £300m drug haul gang

A GANG has been jailed for a total of 20 years after being caught trying to smuggle drugs into Southampton.

Border Force officers found cocaine worth £300m hidden inside a pleasure cruiser at the city’s docks last June. Weighing in at 1,000 kilograms, the haul was one of the UK’s largest ever cocaine seizures.

The gang members, including a father and son, were traced and arrested at addresses across The Netherlands in August 2011.

Yesterday three men, all Dutch nationals, were convicted and sentenced following a two-day trial in Rotterdam earlier this month.

All the defendants were charged with attempting to smuggle cocaine. A 61-year-old was sentenced to seven years. He was also charged with laundering €40,000 in The Netherlands and laundering €60,678 in Belgium and Luxemburg. One of his sons, aged 33, was sentenced to five years and also charged with possession of a firearm.

A 45-year-old man was sentenced to eight years and also charged with laundering nearly €1.5m in the Netherlands and possession of a machine gun.

A fourth man, the 61-year-old’s other son, aged 35, was acquitted.

The £1m Dutch owned luxury yacht the Louise was targeted by Border Force as it was transported to Southampton aboard a cargo ship from the British Virgin Islands.

A painstaking forensic search of the entire yacht to locate the drugs bore fruit on the sixth day when the cocaine was found hidden deep beneath the bathing platform at the back of the boat, having been packed inside this specially prepared space while in Venezuela.

Border Force director general Brian Moore said: “Let the sentences handed down serve as a warning to those who attempt to smuggle illegal drugs and other contrabands, you will be caught and face a lengthy time in jail.”

The yacht has been confiscated and will now be used as a training tool for specialist Border Force search officers.

Comments (4)

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2:17pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Sovietobserver says...

'A painstaking forensic search of the entire yacht to locate the drug bore fruit on the sixth day'.
This was a yacht not a bulk carrier ! One thousand tonnes ?
More like 1000 kilos. Yet another typo error.
'A painstaking forensic search of the entire yacht to locate the drug bore fruit on the sixth day'. This was a yacht not a bulk carrier ! One thousand tonnes ? More like 1000 kilos. Yet another typo error. Sovietobserver

2:26pm Sat 23 Jun 12

bobbyboy says...

sorry it should have read 1 day to find it 4 days to test it 1 day to declare it total 6 days. And in less than six years time out they come richer than they went to prison another super yatch on the shopping list another delivery. the best thing to do is blow them out of the water that might just get the message back to the god fathers that drugs are poor buissness now try selling hot telly's instead.lol
sorry it should have read 1 day to find it 4 days to test it 1 day to declare it total 6 days. And in less than six years time out they come richer than they went to prison another super yatch on the shopping list another delivery. the best thing to do is blow them out of the water that might just get the message back to the god fathers that drugs are poor buissness now try selling hot telly's instead.lol bobbyboy

5:20pm Sat 23 Jun 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

Does it matter as long as they were caught and prosecuted? Well done the Border Force, more power to your elbow, we must keep this menace out of Society.
Does it matter as long as they were caught and prosecuted? Well done the Border Force, more power to your elbow, we must keep this menace out of Society. OSPREYSAINT

2:52pm Sun 24 Jun 12

IronLady2010 says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
Does it matter as long as they were caught and prosecuted? Well done the Border Force, more power to your elbow, we must keep this menace out of Society.
Totally agree, drugs are a menace to society. What starts off as a sniff or a smoke ends up with addiction which results in people turning to crime to fund the habbit.

Although it should be 1 tonne, the Echo keyboard must have gone wonky upon typing.

My concern is, how much escapes capture?
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: Does it matter as long as they were caught and prosecuted? Well done the Border Force, more power to your elbow, we must keep this menace out of Society.[/p][/quote]Totally agree, drugs are a menace to society. What starts off as a sniff or a smoke ends up with addiction which results in people turning to crime to fund the habbit. Although it should be 1 tonne, the Echo keyboard must have gone wonky upon typing. My concern is, how much escapes capture? IronLady2010

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