Man pleads guilty to £100m cocaine yacht smuggling plot
Yachting & Boating World: A man has admitted to being involved in a plot to smuggle £100m worth of cocaine into the UK using a yacht.
A man who was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court on Monday. Stephen Powell, one of six men arrested over the drug smuggling plot, appeared via video link from prison to make his plea after officials seized around a tonne of cocaine on board a yacht Makayabella last month.
The Garda Siochana in Ireland also charged the 47-year-old’s father, John Powell, along with Benjamin Mellor and Thomas Britteon with possessing cocaine with intent to import after they were detained onboard. All three men have appeared at Cork District Court in Ireland.
This latest development comes almost three weeks after the 60ft yacht carrying the drugs was intercepted by Irish Defence Forces around 200 miles south west of Mizen Head.
A successful mission was completed based on intelligence provided by the National Crime Agency in the UK and the French customs service DNRED. Investigators also seized a 25ft motorboat Sea Breeze, moored in north Wales as part of their enquiries.
Two other men, a 43-year-old and a 29-year-old, have also been arrested in connection with a police investigation.
Judge Peter Collier told Mr Powell following his plea: “Stephen Powell, you have pleaded guilty to this very serious offence and obviously you will be receiving, in due course, a significant custodial sentence.”
Mr Powell will appear at a further hearing in early December.