April 19 2015 Latest news:
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
It has emerged that a Norfolk man was part of a gang which has been ordered to hand back almost £312,000 after they tried to smuggle four tonnes of cannabis on a luxury yacht.
Border Force officers thwarted the smuggling attempt in July 2011 and the men were sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison at Lewes Crown Court in October 2011.
They admitted drugs smuggling charges at a previous court hearing.
Now, under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, the gang have been ordered to pay back a total of £311,917 following a two-day hearing at the same court.
Al Turner, 54, of Hargham Heath, Attleborough, was ordered to return £39,917 within six months or face a further 15 months in prison.
Accomplice Mark Timothy, 60, of Sandown Close, Clacton-on-Sea, will have to return a nominal fee.
Johan Bouma, 64, of Amsterdam, Netherlands, has already been ordered to repay £272,000 following a confiscation hearing at the same court on 17 August 2012.
The drugs, which were worth an estimated £12m, were found in a specially adapted area under the decking of luxury yacht MV Majestic after Border Force cutter patrol boats tracked the vessel up the English Channel.
Officers seized the yacht, but this is not included the confiscation process.
The vessel is now being used to train officers from Border Force, part of the Home Office, and other law enforcement agencies in specialist search techniques.