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Prosecuting International and Organised Crime

Drug trafficking, people trafficking, use of firearms, money laundering, internet crime, fraud, serious robbery and organised vehicle crime at home and internationally, are all dealt with by the International Justice and Organised Crime Division. A specialist team of experienced prosecutors, the International Justice and Organised Crime Division work closely with the police and international law enforcement agencies to bring criminals to justice.

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Two sentenced for plotting to bring up to three tonnes of cocaine to the streets of Europe

19/11/2015

Anthony Dennis and Anthony Wilson were sentenced yesterday at the Old Bailey to over 25 years for a major drug smuggling operation.

Anthony Hill, specialist prosecutor in the CPS Organised Crime Division, said: "These men worked with criminals overseas to plan a large and complex drug-smuggling operation, plotting to bring up to three tonnes of cocaine from South America. If successful, this would have flooded the streets of Europe with drugs worth hundreds of millions of Euros.

"Their criminal activity was co-ordinated overseas, but so was the response from the criminal justice system. We worked closely with Dutch authorities and the National Crime Agency and the strength of our evidence left the defendants with no choice but to plead guilty."

Brendan Foreman, the National Crime Agency's Regional Head of Investigations, said: "Dennis and Wilson joined forces with international criminals to bring up to three tonnes of cocaine into Europe, some of which was highly likely to have ended up on UK streets.

"They thought the cafe in Rotterdam was a safe place to conduct their operations but by working in partnership with the Dutch National Police the NCA was able to identify them and put a stop to their plan."

Background

In 2013, a programme of co-ordinated arrests took place in Holland, Germany and in the UK. Since 2012, the Dutch National Crime Squad had investigated a hub of drug trafficking and money laundering run from a cafe in Rotterdam called the Cafe de Ketel. The cafe was a front for criminal activity of two brothers and their associates, and those who visited the cafe to meet with them were involved in the importation and distribution of drugs. The Dutch authorities were able to covertly record some of those meetings.

This prosecution concerned the importation of cocaine from South America involving Anthony Dennis and Anthony Wilson who were based in Essex when plotting the operation. The system of importing the drugs involved inserting them into shipping containers which were carrying legitimate cargo from South America. Once the container reached the European port an associate would open the container, extract the drugs and reseal it and then the container would continue to its destination.

Dennis and Wilson's enterprise went disastrously wrong when they failed to extract a consignment of 67.5kg of cocaine from a shipping crate in the port at Antwerp in Belgium. The drugs were discovered by German police before they could access it when the crate went on to its final destination.

Counts

Dennis and Wilson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a foreign drug trafficking offence, namely to import cocaine into the Netherlands.

Ends

Notes to Editors

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