Paris: the trial of an alleged British drug kingpin
Is taking place in Paris the trial of alleged English drug lord Robert Dawes, charged of leading a smuggling cocaine ring, responsible of the smuggling of 1.3 tons of coke, worth 240 million euro, in just one operation.
Dawes, who was born in Nottingham 46 years ago, was arrested in Spain (Costa del Sol) in November 2015, two years after the drug was discovered inside two dozen of unregistered suitcases on a French flight landed in Paris from Caracas.
Two other members of the organization, Nathan Wheat and Kane Price, are also charged in taking part in the smuggling ring, together with three Italians alleged being linked with the Italian criminal organization based in Naples called Camorra.
The coke was intercepted by four French agents from the OCRTIS, the anti- trafficking agency, working undercover as corrupt baggage handlers in the Charles de Gaulle airport.
They also find out evidence that the shipment was organized by Dawes and his associates.
The first cocaine seizure was in 2013, along with the German border. Prosecutors arrested suspected smugglers in France, except for Dawes who was living in Spain.
On a phone conversation wiretapped by Spanish police in a Madrid hotel Dawes, talking to a representative of Colombian cartel, was vaunting his capability of smuggling coke in most of the European major airports due to his corrupting officials' capability.
Investigations on Dawes started in 2007, due to his link with the Italian Mafia and Colombian cartels.
Dawes used to ship cocaine hidden inside containers of Chinese furniture from China or fresh fruit from South Africa. He also smuggled heroin from Turkey and Afghanistan.
The British drug lord is also accused of buying huge amounts of cocaine from Italian 'ndrangheta mafia. In April 2016 Spanish police also arrested Dawes lieutenant Emiel Brummer, from the Netherlands. (cm)
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