A police drugs expert yesterday described the £512million cocaine found hidden on board a Turkish tug boat as an “unprecedented” haul. Detective Constable Jurgen Wahla was given evidence at the trial of nine Turks accused of smuggling cocaine from Guyana in South America to Europe.
The High Court in Glasgow has previously heard the tug MV Hamal was boarded in international waters 100 miles off the north-east coast then taken to Aberdeen Harbour where the cocaine was found hidden in a ballast tank. DC Wahla, who is based in Aberdeen, tested one of the kilo blocks which was unloaded and found it was 70% pure cocaine.
Advocate depute Ashley Edwards, prosecuting, asked the officer what the maximum street value of the Class A drug would be. He told the court there had been 3.2 tons of the drug, and said: “If sold in the UK, it would be £512million if sold in gram deals and adulterated to 15 to 20% pure.
“It is a massive, massive importation, unprecedented in what I’ve seen in my experience.” He added that 41 of the 3,200 kilo bags were tested and found to contain cocaine. The average purity was 63%, with a range of between 58% and 74% pure.
DC Wahla, who is in the serious crime squad and often works with Europol and the National Crime Agency, The crew of the MV Hamal are on trial accused of being involved in an international drug-smuggling operation between February and April 2015. They are further alleged to have been concerned in the supply of the class A drug between April 21 and 23, 2015.
Kayacan Dalgakiran, 64, Mustafa Guven, 48, Mustafa Ceviz, 55, Umit Colakel, 39, Ibrahim Dag, 48, Mumin Sahin, 46, Emin Ozmen, 51, Abdulkadir Cirik, 32, and Muhammet Seckin, 27, deny the charges against them.
The trial before judge Lord Kinclaven continues.
By Shona Gossip - The Aberdeen Journal/June 14, 2016