Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Maximum sentences in £1.75M Cannabis case

Two Spanish nationals involved in a £1,750,000 cannabis smuggling operation have been given maximum sentences by the Supreme Court.

The men were in joint possession of 683 kilos of cannabis when they were arrested April 11 2004 when the sports fishing boat was intercepted some two miles southwest off Europa Point by an RGP marine section patrol. When later searched a double hull was discovered in which the cannabis was hidden.

Sebastian Trujillo Pena, 41, of Fuengirola the registered owner of the vessel was sentenced to the 5 year maximum for possession of the drugs and the vessels was forfeited.

Diego Manuel Fernandez Tejero, 41, of La Linea was sentenced to four years having earlier pleaded guilty to one of the charges.

Police estimate the street value of the drugs at £1,750,000.

Judge Anthony Dudley made clear that the fact the drugs were destined to Spain not Gbraltar was not a mitigating factor. He said that the men were probably couriers and that there were probably “bigger people” behind them.

Maximum sentences for importation charges would have been substantially more.

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