Cocaine smuggling gang sentenced to 120 years over Cornwall boat plot

|News, Drug offences

A gang who tried to smuggle £112m worth of cocaine into Cornwall on a boat have been jailed after a CPS/NCA prosecution.

Nigel Clark, 64, Dean Waters, 59, and the boat’s skipper Richard Must, 49, were sentenced to between 30 years and 28 years today at Bristol Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine following an earlier trial. Also sentenced were deckhands Voldemars Gailis, 21, and Raymond Disjkstra, 27.

They were arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after a 60 foot catamaran was intercepted off the Cornish coast on 29 August 2018 with 1.4 tonnes of high purity cocaine on board.

Clark and Waters were in Cornwall making final arrangements to launch a small boat to meet the Catamaran and bring in the drugs.  

Clark later falsely claimed he had been sightseeing and planning to mess about in the boat.

In fact, he and Waters had been undertaking detailed plans for the boat to be ready, including refitting engines, buying a thermal camera and other items for a ‘smuggler’s kit’.

Dijkstra falsely claimed that he had been an unwilling participant on the boat but the CPS was able to prove that he was a trusted member of the gang.

Gailis kept a diary contemplating opening a tattoo shop “with the money” and mentioning ideas for “transportation of the drugs across the border” including use of a drone.

Rose-Marie Franton, of the CPS, said: “Our prosecution was able to show that each of these men took an active and willing role in this highly organised conspiracy to import large amounts of cocaine into this country.

“This required the purchase and refurbishment of a catamaran, the recruitment of a crew, and arrangements for a rendezvous in the mid-Atlantic with a small inflatable South American boat.

“The CPS will now seek to retrieve any outstanding assets or money to take away any benefit from this serious crime.”


Notes to editors

  • Rose-Marie Franton is Head of the CPS Organised Crime Division
  • Nigel Clark (DOB: 03/10/1954) 28 years’ imprisonment
  • Dean Waters (DOB: 11/11/1959) 28 years’ imprisonment
  • Richard Must (DOB: 23/01/1970) 30 years’ imprisonment
  • Voldemars Gailis (DOB: 07/09/1997) 16 years’ imprisonment
  • Raymond Diskstra (DOB: 01/09/1991) 18 years’ imprisonment

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