News Criminal Defence 25th May 2022

Acquittal of defendant accused of part-financing £30 million international cocaine importation

Represented by Will Martin (led by Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC of Drystone Chambers) the defendant was accused of part-financing a multi-million pound international cocaine importation operation.

In May 2019, as part of Operation Wallace, Spanish police seized a consignment of 1 tonne of Colombian cocaine with an estimate value of £30 million. It was destined for the UK. The defendant was alleged to have provided significant funds to assist the organised crime network in its operations in Spain.

It was agreed that the defendant provided the money to a member of the criminal network. However, through extensive analysis of the unused material – in particular call data, cell site evidence and banking material – the defence established that the payments made by the defendant were consistent with an entirely separate, parallel criminal operation to launder the proceeds of a VAT fraud.

The trial, at Guildford Crown Court, lasted seven weeks.

Will Martin was instructed by Mark Bowen of Shearman Bowen solicitors.


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