Cocaine drug smuggling plot foiled 'when boat sank'
A plot to smuggle more than £200m of cocaine was foiled when a boat carrying the drugs was shipwrecked off the Irish coast, a court has heard.
John Edney, 57, of Main Road, Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, is accused of providing three 4x4 vehicles used by the drugs gang.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard Mr Edney denied conspiracy to supply a class A drug, namely cocaine.
The court heard a total of 1,554kg (3,425lb) of the drug was discovered.
The court heard that on or before 9 July 2007, he conspired together with Michael Daly, Alan Wells and others to supply the drug.
According to prosecuting counsel Mark Gadsden, Daly, 49, a retired Metropolitan Police detective sergeant who organised the logistics, and Wells, 56, previously pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy.
He told the jury a further three men - Perry Wharrie, Martin Wanden and Joe Daly - were convicted in Cork while a fourth - Gerard Hagan - pleaded guilty at the start of the trial.
The court was told the gang arranged for the 62 bales of the drug weighing a total of 1,554kg (3,425lb) to be transferred from a catamaran which had cross the Atlantic from the Caribbean to a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) before landing on a remote part of the Irish coast.
But on 2 July 2007 the RHIB ran out of fuel and the force six gales caused it to founder on rocks before it reached its destination, the jury heard.
Two men swam ashore while another had to be rescued by a lifeboat and helicopter when the RHIB sank, as the washed-up drugs packages were retrieved from the sea, the court was told.
Mr Gadsden told the jury Daly was "pivotal" to the conspiracy, organising the logistics, purchasing the RHIB and a rescue vessel and finding "safe houses" to be rented near the remote, disused pier where it was intended the drugs would be brought ashore.
He said: "He [Mr Edney] was also one of the principals who was to have shared in the large profits which were to be made from this conspiracy."
The case continues.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
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