Sunday, 14 December 2014

Cocaine Smuggler Foiled By Fuel

It is not everyday that a drug smuggler hands himself into Police but Stephen Powell, from Guiseley, near Leeds, did so.  He told the desk cop that authorities had something of his - £63 million of drugs.  He was part of a plot to smuggle into the UK £160 million worth of Cocaine, but the plot fell apart in the Atlantic Ocean.  Police found a satellite phone, enabling Powell to keep in contact with his yacht, The Makayabella, as it crossed the Atlantic from the Carribean.  But the smugglers were not to know that a multi-agency task force was keeping track of the yacht.  Authorities from the UK, Ireland, France and Venezuela were involved.  But the yacht was stopped in the Atlantic and the occupants arrested.  Powell had a motorboat called Sea Breeze, which ran out of fuel on the way to meet the yacht and was rescued by the RNLI.  The boat was taken to Rosslare, then piloted  to Pwllheli in North Wales.  Powell left his boat there and went to a Police station in Leeds.

    Powell, who had a window cleaning service, was jailed for sixteen years, whilst the others arrested on the boat faced charges in Ireland, and three others from West Yorkshire are on bail as the investigation goes on.  Powell was a gambling man, who got involved after his business collapsed, the Judge declared before sending him down via a video link to the prison he was being held in.  Question; how does a window cleaner get the money for a yacht and a motorboat?  Will this be looked at by the Asset Recovery Agency?  Only time will tell.  Source; Bradford Telegraph & Argus.