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Old 07-04-2007, 10:04 AM   #1
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DRUGS worth £8m


• 4 Britons arrested

by Brian Reyes

Local customs officers seized a 50ft yacht loaded with 216 kilos of cocaine worth £8m. They swooped on the vessel GIN in the early hours of Tuesday as it sailed into Gibraltar from the Caribbean. A total of 183 slabs of cocaine were found stashed in sealed compartments at the stern of the yacht. Officers had to physically break into hidden cavities to find the drugs.

Four British nationals who were on board the vessel were arrested and appeared before the Magistrate’s Court yesterday facing a number of charges relating to the haul. Jonathan Kelway, Trevor Collenette, Martin Genocchio and Kathryn Burman are charged with possession and possession with intent to supply 216 kilos of cocaine. They are also charged with importing the drug into Gibraltar.

During a short appearance before Stipendiary Magistrate Chares Pitto, each of the four stood to confirm their identities to the court. Mr Kelway said they had nothing to hide. “We are innocent parties in this,” he told the court.

In turn, the other three crew members confirmed their names and agreed with Mr Kelway’s statement. All four were remanded in custody until June 12, when they are due to appear again before the magistrate.

HM Customs Gibraltar said the yacht GIN was stopped as a result of an ongoing “risk-profiling” operation, in which a number of issues are taken into account to target possible offenders.

Officers look at factors such as movement patterns and ownership, as well secret intelligence.

The yacht seized this week is registered in Gibraltar but is foreign-owned. Its beneficial owner has no links to the Rock, Customs said. HM Customs Gibraltar also said there was nothing to suggest the drugs were destined for the Rock or that anyone here was linked to them.

This is the second major cocaine haul to be seized in Gibraltar in the last few years.

************************************************** *****************

Crew were taken on to deliver this yacht to Gibraltar and appear to be dragged in to this horrible saga.


Just how easy is it to sucked into something like this?



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Old 07-04-2007, 10:21 AM   #2
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From: http://www.ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/200706021...pbogeneral.html

A professional skipper and three crew, who were arrested on suspicion of importing cocaine into Gibraltar, have been denied bail and could face jail sentences on the rock if found guilty of the charges in court.

Skipper Jonathan Kelway, 57, made arrangements via a Hampshire crewing agency for three other crew to fly to St Lucia to help deliver a 50ft Beneteau Gin to Gibraltar, where the yacht is registered. However, on delivery, after an initial routine inspection, Gibraltar Customs officers returned to the yacht and found 216kg of cocaine hidden in specially-designed sealed compartments in the stern of the yacht.

The crew, 51-year-old retired banker Trevor Collenette from Jersey, Martin Genoccio and his partner Kathryn Burman, both in their late 20s have all protested their innocence and in their first court appearance on 12 June, the skipper Mr Kelway stated: 'We are innocent parties in this.'

Friends of Trevor Collenette have started a website and organised a public demonstration proclaiming his innocence, while friends of Martin and Kathryn started a thread on a London media forum (see links below). The skipper has been defended by Crewseekers on the company's website.

If found guilty of possession and importing cocaine into Gibraltar, all four could face long prison sentences.


Read the statement from www.crewseekers.net

Keep up with the campaign to free Trevor Collenette at www.trevorisinnocent.org

Click here to offer support for Martin Genoccio and his partner Kathryn Burman at www.indymedia.org.uk


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Old 07-04-2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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This is a situation which could so easily happen anywhere on the planet. In 1995, Australia's largest ever known drug importation (at the time) was interrupted by Federal Police when they searched a Vietnamese fishing boat in Darwin harbour.

The boat and its contents were subsequently confiscated, the captain and crew were exonerated and allowed to return home without conviction, the owner of the boat was not called to account; the person or organisation responsible for secreting the drugs in the vessel was never apprehended.

If this had happened in Indonesia or Malaysia the crew and skipper would have been jailed for life at least, more probable is that they would have been handed the death penalty.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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