On 22 December 2009, a former Canadian coast guard vessel named the Destiny Empress was boarded by Spanish Police 200 miles off the coast of Northern Spain in what has been hailed as the largest drugs seizure by both the Spanish Police and the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service. The vessel contained a hidden cargo of 1.5 tonnes of high grade cocaine now valued at £1 billion at street prices. A number of arrests leading to charges were made in the UK and in Spain.
The investigation codenamed “Operation Montecarl” was led by officers from the Metropolitan Police Services’s elite Central Task Force (part of the Serious and Organised Crime Command) supported by the Met Intelligence Bureau and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The Spanish Police and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre were also involved.
The trial is due to take place next year at Kingston Crown Court.
Seema Parikh, Head of MPR’s Serious Crime Department leads the defence team in this complex multi-jurisdictional case stretching from Europe, the Caribbean and Colombia. She has a depth of knowledge and experience defending in major drugs cases which have been applied to a number of the Firm’s cases leading to successful results. Most recently she defended in Operation Eaglewood, a trial lasting over 4 months at Woolwich Crown Court involving a £100 million drugs conspiracy and money laundering offences.
We can advise and assist clients from our Head Office in Hounslow, Hammersmith office or at our base in the City of London. Our London Drugs Defence Solicitors can also visit you at your offices or whererever you are based.
If you wish to discuss any issues raised in this e-news brief or are seeking legal representation in a serious matter and would like the opportunity to discuss matters in confidence, then please contact MPR Solicitors LLP on 020 8607 4660 and ask for the Serious Crime Department and one of our solicitors will be pleased to assist you; or you may email Seema Parikh directly in the strictest of confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org
The BBC reports here
Sky News reports here