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  1. #1
    FarangRed
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    'It's my human right to run my £300m empire from prison'

    'It's my human right to run my £300m empire from prison': UK's most notorious drugs baron fights order to stop him breaking the law

    • Curtis Warren is only drug dealer to feature on Sunday Times Rich List
    • He may fight order on grounds of his 'human rights'
    • While in prison, he killed a convicted murderer, during a fight



    The most successful British criminal ever caught: Curtis Warren once made the Sunday Times Rich List




    Britain's most notorious drug baron has been issued with an extraordinary warning to stop running his multi-million-pound criminal empire from behind bars.


    Curtis Warren, 48, a convicted killer who once topped Interpol’s most wanted list, is in a high-security prison serving a 13-year sentence for cannabis smuggling.


    In an unprecedented step, the order instructs the Liverpudlian to stop breaking the law.


    Last night, the drug lord’s lawyer said his client is expected to fight the order on the grounds of his ‘human rights’.


    Warren, the only drug dealer to feature on the Sunday Times Rich List, has an illegal empire estimated to be worth up to £300million.

    He is in Full Sutton prison near York.


    The Serious Crime Prevention Order was brought on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs and signed by Alun Milford, the Chief Crown Prosecutor and director of the Serious Organised Crime Division.
    The terms of the order include:
    • A restriction on Warren’s use of communication devices and public telephones;
    • A restriction on him being in possession of more than £1,000 to ‘make it harder for him to purchase drugs or reward his criminal associates’;
    • A financial reporting requirement ‘that will deter him from committing acquisitive crime, and give the law enforcement authorities the opportunity to investigate any wealth he comes into’.
    Warren, a former bouncer once described as the ‘most successful British criminal who has ever been caught’, was jailed in 1995 while living in the Netherlands after Dutch police found a haul of drugs and banknotes worth £125million.


    While in prison, he killed a convicted murderer, Cemal Guclu, during a fight.



    Behind bars: Warren pictured in 2009 after being found guilty of a £1million drug smuggling plot

    Warren had planned a cannabis-smuggling operation in Jersey (pictured)



    In February 2005, the Dutch police charged him with running a drugs-smuggling cartel from his jail cell, but the case was eventually dismissed because of insufficient evidence


    Released in 2007, having served two-thirds of the 16-year sentence, Warren was arrested the same year and convicted of a £1million cannabis smuggling plot in Jersey in October 2009.


    He was transferred under a prisoner exchange agreement to mainland Britain. He now faces a confiscation hearing involving £160million.


    Warren’s solicitor, Keith Dyson, said: ‘There will be a human rights challenge, of course.


    ‘These are very oppressive orders, they absolutely restrict your civil liberties and it is supported by a file of evidence that Curtis says is inaccurate.
    ‘In a nutshell, the evidence relates to his previous convictions.’



    An HM Revenue and Customs source said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to make sure his activities come to an end. He’s got a lot of money and a lot of influence.


    ‘He’s a gangster involved in organised crime.
    ‘We will take steps necessary to put an end to his activities. It’s designed to make sure people don’t profit from their crimes while they do time.


    ‘He’s a bloke who goes to jail with millions and millions of pounds. We take steps to make sure they don’t profit and cease to have influence.

    Read more: Britain's most notorious drug baron told: Stop running your £300m empire from prison | Mail Online

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    Curtis Warren
    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    the Liverpudlian
    Enough said... Hang the fuker...

  3. #3
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    In an unprecedented step, the order instructs the Liverpudlian to stop breaking the law.
    Telling a scouser to stop breaking the law? Good luck with that one!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    In an unprecedented step, the order instructs the Liverpudlian to stop breaking the law.
    Does anyone else find this statement rather sad?

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    Gaddafi had a novel way of emptying jails, adopt it in the uk, ploblem solved!

  6. #6
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    Why should a convicted criminal have access to the outside world?

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    Molecular Mixup
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    He has a real ugly mongrels face

    A restriction on him being in possession of more than £1,000 to ‘make it harder for him to purchase drugs or reward his criminal associates’;
    he is allowed a grand in his pocket ?
    and how much was he carrying before ?
    mars bars and cup-a-soup from the prison shop must be expensive.

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    Some sort of prison wide electronic blanket stopping cell phones would be the answer.

  9. #9
    FarangRed
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    The business he is running from prison includes legitimate businesses that the police feel have been created from drug money, however they cannot take a penny of his money unless they can prove the crime it came from.Very difficult when good money laundering is involved.He is not running a drugs operation whilst in his cell so DM and some of its readers who bang on about human rights,he obviously wouldn't get on the human rights band wagon if he was wanting to conduct a drugs business from his cell.Please people think outside the box!

  10. #10
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    very good book about his life called cocky
    well worth a read

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    includes legitimate businesses
    That statement means that it may also "include" illegitimate businesses. Lets say 10% for his own charity and the other 90% for his possible dodgy businesses.

  12. #12
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    seems then, you can run a business from inside
    but you're not allowed to vote for your favoured
    MP.

  13. #13
    euston has flown

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed View Post
    The business he is running from prison includes legitimate businesses that the police feel have been created from drug money, however they cannot take a penny of his money unless they can prove the crime it came from.Very difficult when good money laundering is involved.He is not running a drugs operation whilst in his cell so DM and some of its readers who bang on about human rights,he obviously wouldn't get on the human rights band wagon if he was wanting to conduct a drugs business from his cell.Please people think outside the box!
    Part of going to prison is punishment. That punishment involves denying you some of your human rights, such as the right to travel. that prisons still exist in europe means that this is compatible with human rights as they are practiced in europe.

    Another right that you loose is the right to a family life, often cited in immigration appeals. As a prisoner you have to leave the day to day care of your children to others, your wife, relatives or state/foster care, you loose data control. Summerly you don't get to goto parents evenings, birthdays, school plays and all those special moments whilst your children grow up. This is all part of the punishment of being in prison.

    On this basis I cannot real see any reason someone would expect to be allowed to manage their business empire, legitimate or otherwise, from jail. As with any children you have; you hand over day to day care to someone you trust and get one with serving your time; its part of the punishment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    you hand over day to day care to someone you trust
    That seems to be a reasonable solution. I am not sure if these rules, about running a business, are applied just to him or to all prisoners. It may be that his "crime" is considered to be more atrocious as he was convicted of organising the supply of a "banned" physical substance as opposed to an illegal "toxic" virtual financial derivative.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  15. #15
    FarangRed
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    you hand over day to day care to someone you trust
    That seems to be a reasonable solution. I am not sure if these rules, about running a business, are applied just to him or to all prisoners. It may be that his "crime" is considered to be more atrocious as he was convicted of organising the supply of a "banned" physical substance as opposed to an illegal "toxic" virtual financial derivative.
    Do you mind saying that in English, Please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    Do you mind saying that in English, Please?
    If English is not your native language I suggest you find a translation site.

  17. #17
    euston has flown

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    ^im a native english speaker and reader, im note sure what you are trying to say either. I can guess what your trying to but its not very clear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    you hand over day to day care to someone you trust
    That seems to be a reasonable solution. I am not sure if these rules, about running a business, are applied just to him or to all prisoners. It may be that his "crime" is considered to be more atrocious as he was convicted of organising the supply of a "banned" physical substance as opposed to an illegal "toxic" virtual financial derivative.
    Do you mind saying that in English, Please?
    What I am trying to suggest is that for some "crimes" some prisoners are put in what's called in the UK "Open Prisons". The types of prisoners that are sent to these prisons are sometimes those who have been convicted of, shall we call it "financial crimes", accountancy fraud etc. They are generally of no intrinsic threat to life and limb to the general public.

    What I know is that some of the prisoners do "work" outside of the prison walls during the day with local firms, whilst serving their sentence.

    If the prisoner who is the subject of the thread has some "commercial/management" skills why should he be penalised due to the "product" he was convicted of selling/managing.

    I hope that is clear enough now. If not ....................

  19. #19
    euston has flown

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    ^Being disconnected from the outside world and loosing the ability to manage your life outside the jail is at the core of the punishment component of imprisonment.

    For most this is a loss of direct control or management of their family and children. If you are a businessman, it seems appropriate under these circumstances that you should similarly loose direct control and management over your business interests too.

    If he's being picked on because of the nature of his crime, its more of a reason to be hard on other jailed 'businessmen' than to go soft on him.

  20. #20
    Mid
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    Curtis Warren: Drug dealer ordered to pay £198m
    5 November 2013


    Jersey Law Officers say £198m is one of Europe's largest confiscation orders

    Convicted drug dealer Curtis Warren has been given 28 days to pay £198m or face a further 10 years in jail.

    The 50-year-old from Liverpool was jailed for 13 years in 2009 for plotting to smuggle cannabis with a street value of £1m into Jersey.

    Warren is serving his sentence in the UK but was in Jersey for a confiscation hearing at the Royal Court.

    Jersey's law officers have said this is one of the largest confiscation orders ever issued in Europe.

    Rich list

    Through the 1980s and 1990s, 'Cocky' Warren, as he became known, worked his way up the criminal ladder, becoming one of the wealthiest underground figures ever.

    He even made his way on to the Sunday Times Rich List in the 1990s, with his income from drug deals estimated at the time to be £80m.

    In 1996, a plan to import cocaine through the Netherlands hidden in lead ingots landed him in a Dutch jail.

    Police believe that he continued to run his business from his prison cell and may, even then, have been planning a move on the drugs market in Jersey.

    Three weeks after his early release in 2007, undercover officers who had been watching a man called Jonathan Welsh spotted him with a new arrival at Jersey airport.

    It was Warren.

    In the weeks that followed Operation Flare monitored Warren, Welsh, and four other men.

    'Huge sums'

    They were secretly tracked around Jersey and hundreds of calls from phone boxes and mobiles were recorded to and from a contact in Amsterdam.

    In a move which brought calls for the case to be dismissed, officers from Jersey's drugs squad even bugged a car travelling through France, Belgium and the Netherlands, without permission of their European counterparts.

    In the end jurors, who had been under police protection throughout the trial, were convinced by the evidence they had heard and seen.

    Warren was jailed for 13 years in 2009.

    A confiscation order was made but was subject to a number of failed appeals by him over the last few years.

    The prosecution case for the order was based partly on the covert recording of Warren in a Dutch prison in 2004.

    He was heard saying: "Sometimes we'd do about £10m or £15m in a week."

    'Sophisticated traffickers'

    Summing up for the prosecution, Solicitor General Howard Sharpe told the judge and six jurats the order was just and proportionate.

    He asked after the recording was played: "Is he a serial fantasist who happens to tell people he is wealthy or a very successful cocaine dealer who can't resist telling people what he's done because he is 'cocky'?

    "He is a successful and sophisticated cocaine trafficker."

    Advocate Stephen Baker, for Warren, argued he had no assets, saying: "He has a strong tendency to talk nonsense at times."

    Mr Baker said there was a risk of "serious injustice" and urged jurats to "put aside any preconceived notions of Warren and his reputation".

    He said Warren had no assets, adding: "Whatever there was, there is nothing left."

    In a statement, the Law Officers Department said the confiscation order was the result of several years of "extensive investigation".

    "The investigation was complex and has involved highly effective and extensive international cooperation with jurisdictions worldwide.

    "The case is a further example of Jersey's strong resolve and capability to fight complex organised and financial crime."

    The evidence related to cocaine trafficking between 1991-1996 which law officers argued generated "huge sums of money".

    Shipments ranged from 500kg (1,100lb) to multiple-tonne consignments, according to the officers.

    bbc.co.uk

  21. #21
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    Such a pity the police involvement was covered up big time

    Colombian 'hit' that set off a UK cocaine war | World news | The Observer

    Colombian 'hit' that set off a UK cocaine war
    A drugs baron from Liverpool built up a £200m fortune through his links with the Colombian cartels. But when he tried to cheat the South American traffickers, he was brutally assassinated by a contract killer. Now police across Europe fear an international drugs war between the two syndicates
    Mark Townsend
    The Observer, Sunday 18 May 2008
    Even by the standards of gangland executions, it was a ruthless hit. The gunman sauntered up to his target outside a gym on a Liverpool council estate. From under his jacket he calmly produced a pump-action shotgun and, from close range, aimed at his target's head. Colin 'Smigger' Smith, Britain's so-called Cocaine King with an estimated personal fortune of £200m, was dead.

    Six months on, his assassin remains at large despite a massive police investigation. Only now, though, can the circumstances behind the murder of Britain's biggest cocaine baron be revealed. It is a vicious tale of duplicity, violence and retribution in the shadowy world of international drug dealing.

    But Smith's killing carries more profound implications, threatening a ferocious war between Britain's original drug syndicate, the so-called Liverpool mafia, and the largest Colombian cocaine suppliers to Europe, the Cali cartels. At stake, say underworld sources, is control of Britain's £2bn cocaine market. They revealed that Merseyside's crime gangs believe Colombian cartels ordered the hit on Smith over a missing consignment of the Class A narcotic worth £72m.

    Merseyside police are aware of at least one meeting in which the heads of Liverpool's cocaine trade met and agreed to avenge the death of Smith, a high-stakes player whose 1,000kg deals were legendary and sometimes affected the price of cocaine throughout Britain. Police throughout Europe are concerned that any attempt by Liverpool's gangs to target the Cali cartel's sophisticated cocaine distribution network will produce a spate of killings.

    Sources in Amsterdam, where Liverpudlians and Colombians operate together to disseminate cocaine across the continent, claim that Liverpudlian expat dealers in Amsterdam, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Turkey and South America - allied to the Merseyside mafia - have been warned to prepare for a 'mafia-style bloodbath'. Already Liverpool dealers are understood to have shot at least one senior Colombian cocaine emissary in Amsterdam.

    Smith's murder raises the question of how a suspected foreign mercenary could fly into Liverpool and assassinate one of the country's best known cocaine barons - the first time a Colombian cartel has successfully eliminated one of Britain's biggest dealers on UK soil.

    Officially Merseyside police will confirm only that the investigation into Smith's murder 'is ongoing', but detectives believe that his death has triggered a standoff in a volatile business. Liverpool's gangs have traditionally worked directly with their Colombian counterparts, with Smith's syndicate buying cocaine from South American networks whose origins can be traced back to the infamous cartels that controlled international cocaine traffic in the 1990s.

    Established in the late 1970s, the Liverpool mafia protected its power base by forging close links to the IRA and, in particular, a contract-killing outfit called The Cleaners, a group of paramilitaries believed to be responsible for more than 20 drug-related assassinations around Liverpool.

    Merseyside police, the only force outside London to possess a level three capability, meaning it is able to tackle organised international crime, has repeatedly warned that Liverpool's cocaine barons are heavily armed and capable of murder. One drugs bust in the Netherlands, involving 1,600kg of cocaine hidden in sardine tins belonging to Merseyside traffickers, was linked to a subsequent haul of 3,000 rounds of ammunition and two silencers.

    The Cali cartel, despite many high-profile arrests, has evolved into one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world. A senior British detective described the opening of hostilities with such a long-established Colombian cartel as 'unwise' - an understatement worthy of coppers' black humour.

    Colin Smith, 40, balding, was not an archetypal gangster. His success in the cut-throat world of international drug dealing was built on a flair for calculating complex smuggling operations and schmoozing contacts, not on violence and intimidation. The rise of the father of five to the summit of Britain's cocaine trade came in 1996, 20 years after he started selling £5 bags of cannabis while a pupil at Liverpool's New Heys comprehensive.

    Unlike his peers, Smith was never really flash, preferring to adopt a low profile by wearing old Lacoste shirts and driving a Ford Mondeo around Liverpool. For protection, he hired Stephen Lawlor, 34, who ran a Liverpool firm of nightclub bouncers that doubled as foot soldiers. A source close to Liverpool's cocaine scene said: 'Lawlor wasn't just your usual security boss pumped up on steroids. He was clever. Lawlor rose to become Smith's full-time understudy.'

    In time, Smith delegated responsibility for dealing directly with the Colombians to Lawlor. It was a decision that would result not only in Smith's assassination, but also to the growing friction between the Colombian cartels and the Merseyside mafia. During the spring of 2001 Lawlor arranged for a 500kg load of cocaine to be smuggled from South America to Amsterdam and then to Britain. Relations then between the Cali gangs and Liverpudlians were healthy. As usual, the deal was done on trust; on credit until peddled on the street. Again, as agreed, the 500kg would be 'bashed up' to produce a yield of 900kg, each with a street value of £80,000.

    Lawlor never saw a penny of the £72m deal. In May 2001 he was shot as he left a Liverpool party. British army corporal Peter Clarke, 23, was later acquitted of the murder. Even so, Clarke's older brother, Ian, 32, was shot dead in a revenge attack four months later. Weeks after that, Lawlor's brother, Tony, was murdered. Amid the ensuing chaos, the 500kg of coke vanished. Smith told the Colombians that the Liverpool mafia had never received the missing drugs.

    The underworld source said: 'Smigger decided to front it out. He was a good blagger. He told them Lawlor had kept all the details of the deal to himself. He told the people from the Faraway Place [the Liverpool mafia's nickname for Colombia] that the load was probably rotting on a dockside somewhere in Holland and that he knew nothing about it.

    'Smith was a trusted operator who built his fortune by keeping his word, not behaving like your normal gangster. At first the Colombians believed him,' said the source. But an informant, believed to be a close lieutenant of Smith in the Netherlands, told the Colombians a different story. Smith, it seemed, knew exactly where the mystery consignment was. A Dutch businessman with links to the Liverpool mafia said: 'Smith had no problem recovering the cocaine. It was in containers lined up on the docks like a row of new cars.' An established network of Liverpool gang members based in Amsterdam was secretly tasked with selling the drug. A meeting in Amsterdam was arranged between the Colombians and Smith's syndicate. The former demanded a 'yellow pedal' - a police charge sheet or newspaper cutting proving that the goods had been confiscated. Smith could not produce one. The Colombians warned him of dire repercussions if he did not hand over the money. A standoff between the two gangs developed, one that would presently claim a Colombian scalp.

    The source in the Netherlands said: 'The Colombians contracted a top emissary in the Flat Place [underworld slang for the Netherlands] to recover the debt. He went to Amsterdam, but he was shot by Smigger's firm.' Police have also investigated an Amsterdam shooting of a prominent Liverpool dealer currently in jail on drugs offences.

    The source added: 'The Colombians couldn't believe that a bunch of scallies who they saw as being lower down the food chain were treating them like this. They put a contract out to kill Smigger. And in November last year they finally caught up with him.'

    Smith was shot just after 8pm on 13 November last year as he left Nell's Gym in Speke, Liverpool.

    In the aftermath of the murder meetings of senior Liverpool criminals were bugged by police. One meeting, held late last year, was recorded in the Marriott Liverpool South Hotel, popular with Liverpool football players and close to John Lennon Airport, from which Smith's killer is believed to have made his getaway. Those aware of the meeting's agenda liken it to a 'mini-Appalachian', a reference to a famous get-together of Mafia bosses in Fifties America. The comparison was telling. Merseyside police had been tipped off about the mafia convention. A senior police source, who cannot be named, said: 'A lot of these heavy fellers checked in. One of them asked a manager to switch off the CCTV. Everyone expected Smith's allies to get revenge immediately. But it's taken months to unravel. It's a nest of vipers,' added the officer.

    Last Thursday Britain's equivalent of the FBI, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, revealed that it confiscated 89,000kg of cocaine last year, most of it from Colombia, a 20 per cent increase on the previous year. A Soca source confirmed it was investigating Colombian involvement 'across the entire supply chain' of cocaine in the UK.

    British detectives are now preparing to target Puerto Banus, a luxury suburb of Marbella in Spain from which Smith had flown before his murder. It is a popular foreign base for British cocaine dealers. Among those on British police's 'most wanted' list is Liverpool drug fugitive Scott Coleman, 33, whom detectives hope to catch before it is too late. As one Merseyside source said: 'Colin was a nice feller, but sometimes he didn't pay his bills. And everyone knows what happens when you don't pay your bills.'

    The Liverpool-Cali Connection

    They call it Easydrugs. With counter-narcotics officers able to monitor emails and telephone conversations, the latest modus operandi of Liverpool's cocaine dealers relies on catching budget flights from Merseyside to contacts throughout Europe, relaying messages and instructions in person, often returning the same day. Such methods help explain why officers have failed to dismantle the Liverpool mafia and curtail its 30-year reign at the pinnacle of the drugs trade.

    The Liverpool mafia was Britain's first drug-dealing cartel, formed in the late Seventies by heroin baron Tommy 'Tacker' Comerford, gaining strength after a group of white, middle-aged, former armed robbers brokered a strategic alliance with young black gangs following the Toxteth riots. Under the control of a shadowy former docker called 'The Banker', it became the richest gang in the UK. Strong links to corrupt port officials and haulage contractors ensured its status as an accomplished smuggler.

    As cocaine's popularity soared, links were forged with the notorious Cali cartel, a Colombian cocaine-supplying gang. The cartel was grateful to the Liverpool mafia, whose contacts and own distribution network allowed it to crack the European market. Yet its single biggest break came when the rival Medellín gang was smashed in 1987. Since then, the Cali cartel has suffered a number of arrests, with its founders, Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, extradited to the US in 2004. Although operating under a number of different aliases, the cartel has continued to evolve and remains one of the most fearsome in the world. Amsterdam has emerged as the city in which most Liverpool and Colombian dealers operate.

  22. #22
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    this guy was to clever for the cops though there claims were bizarre he hated flying.



    Five members of drugs gang jailed for 70 years; pounds 6m consignment found in load of bananas.
    Link to this page
    Byline: Sarah Chapman & Mark Hookham

    TODAY FIVE members of a major drug smuggling gang were yesterday jailed for a total of more than 70 years.

    The gang, headed by 53- year old Frank Smith, conspired to bring in pounds 6m of drugs, which were hidden in a consignment of bananas.

    Liverpool Crown Court heard that concealed beneath the false floor of a lorry were heroin,cocaine,Ecstasy and amphetamine.

    Smith, who lived in a luxurious pounds 1.5mhome in Allerton Road,Allerton, was jailed for 25 years after being found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

    During his six-week trial, David Turner QC,prosecuting, told the jury that Smith was the ``managing director'' of the illegal plot.

    Anthony O'Toole, 39,of Lapwing Close,West Derby, was described as being Smith's ``senior manager''.

    As Judge Bryn Holloway jailed him for 19 years,he called O'Toolea ``devious and dishonest person''.

    Scottish haulage firm boss Alexander Thom,41,of Guild Town,Perth, was sentenced to 14 years'imprisonment.He was the driver of the lorry carrying 19 tonnes of bananas bound for a Fyffes warehouse.

    Beneath the refrigerated cargo, was a false floor containing 21 kilos of heroin, 19 of cocaine,100 kilos of amphetamine and 150,000 Ecstasy tablets. Police stopped Thom's lorry on the M74 in Lanarkshire on October 19 last year.

    All members of the drug smuggling gang had been under surveillance for months by Merseyside undercover police as part of Operation McArthur.

    They knew that the lorry's false floor had been constructed at a unit owned by 49-year-oldHarold Camello on the Weaver Industrial Estate in Garston. Camello, of Dacy Road, Anfield, was jailed for 1 / 2 years for allowing his premises to be used in the plot.

    Police had also observed Alan Gerrard, 44,of Harecroft, Stockbridge Village.

    Mr Turner told the court telephone records showed Gerrard was in frequent contact with Smith and was called by him 31 times in six days.

    He said Gerrard was spotted travelling to Amsterdam ``on conspiracy business''.

    Gerrard was jailed for eight years. Smith, who is said to be a millionaire, and his co-defendants will be brought back to the court in December for a hearing in which police will apply to seize the profits he has made from drug crime.

    Smith was once one of Britain's most wanted men and a long-term associate of Curtis Warren, the Toxteth criminal now serving 40 years in a Dutch prison for running Europe's biggest drugs trafficking ring.

    Judge Holloway said detectives following Smith,O'Tooleand the other conspirators deserved a commendation for their work in catching the gang.

    They carried out two drugs seizures as part of the investigation and followed Thom's banana-laden lorry from Dover to the Scottish border.

    It was a cocky text message from Thom which finally put him and the others into the frame.

    Mr Turner told the court: ``Thom sent a text message to his business partner which said: `With this load, we could end up with junky monkeys -ha ha.' ``It was quite a good joke until you realise that he would be making money out of other people's misery.''

    Sentencing the five men to a total / 2 years,Judge Holloway said: ``All of us who work in these courts know the misery caused by the many people involved in Class A drugs.

    ``People like you would have brought misery to addicts and their families and caused a crime wave of dishonesty.''

    Opinion -Page 10 POLICE TO SEIZE pounds 2mTYCOON drug dealer Frank Smith faces having pounds 2mof his illegal assets seized by police.

    Merseyside Police were last night preparing a confiscation order to claw back pounds 2m from the pounds 4m fortune they believe he built up through the trade of hard drugs.

    The force's order, under the Drug Trafficking Act, will be heard at Liverpool Crown Court in December.

    Smith,53,lived in a luxurious pounds 1.5mmansion with a fairy tale castle turret set behind a sandstone wall in a plush section of Allerton Road,Allerton,a salubrious part of south Liverpool.

    He drove a BMW 5 Series executive car and is also believed to own property in the Caribbean and northern Cyprus as well as hold large sums of money in off - shore bank accounts He told police he was a professional gambler and held a personal account at a Ladbrokes betting shop in Allerton Road.

    His gambling was seemingly unsuccessful -in one year he spent pounds 100,000 on horse racing but lost pounds 10,000.

    At the time of his arrest,Smith was one of the country's most wanted men -on the list of the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

    Smith was known to be a former associate of jailed Merseyside drugs dealer Stan Carnell.

    During the police operation that cracked his drugs racket,Smith was seen visiting Carnell in Kilmarnock prison in Scotland, where he is serving a six-year jail term after being arrested with five kilos of heroin.

    Both Carnell and Smith are long-term associates of Europe's biggest drugs trafficker, Curtis Warren,40,from Toxteth, who is now serving 12 years in a Dutch jail.

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