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Prosecuting crimes involving drugs

The legal restrictions placed on the use of controlled drugs are aimed at preventing drug abuse. The principal offences relating to the misuse of controlled drugs are contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Find out more about prosecution policy for drug offences

Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Dutch yacht drug smugglers sentenced


Two men have been sentenced today to a total of over 34 years for smuggling cocaine worth over £41 million in a yacht.

Hendrik Brugmans and Raymond Aalders smuggled the cocaine hidden in a yacht, known as 'Golem'. Both pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court.

Lorna Vincent, reviewing lawyer in the International Justice and Organised Crime Division at the CPS, said:

"Hendrik Brugmans and Raymond Aalders smuggled nearly a tonne of cocaine, which has an estimated wholesale value of over £41 million. They hid the cocaine inside the yacht in a workbench, seat floors, a wardrobe and a fresh water tank.

"The yacht was found seven miles off the South East of Rye within British territorial waters, where Henrik Brugmans was found as the owner of the yacht and Raymond Aalders was aboard.

"The strength of our evidence left the two men, who were in pursuit of enormous profits, with no choice but to plead guilty. This case shows no matter how sophisticated the drugs importation, the CPS will work hard to bring offenders to justice.

Sentencing details

Hendrik Brugmans: 20 years 9 months

Raymond Aalders: 14 years


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief -
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.