View Full Version : Southend 707 drug bust

Cyclic Hotline
17th Oct 2001, 05:43
Cargo plane dumps 500kg of cocaine

LONDON (Reuters) - Customs officers have seized 32 million pounds of cocaine - their biggest haul ever -- after suitcases containing 500kg of the drug were dumped out of the back of a cargo plane in Essex.

Customs officers waiting at Southend Airport swooped on the Boeing 707 plane and its abandoned cargo on Tuesday night, seizing the drugs and arresting six people.

"As the plane landed, the cargo door opened and six huge suitcases were pushed out the back onto the end of the taxi way," he said.

"Officers moved in immediately. They recovered the cocaine and arrested six people. It has since been confirmed that this is Britain's largest ever seizure of cocaine."

The spokesman would not say if Customs were acting on a tip-off or release any other operational details other than to say the aircraft had come from the Caribbean via the Canary Islands and landed about 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday

He said the suitcases were so big that it took three officers to lift each one.

Five crew members and one other person, believed to be an airport worker, were arrested. There were no details available on their nationality.

They were taken to a London police station for questioning in the morning, he said.

17th Oct 2001, 05:59
>>Customs officers have seized 32 million pounds of cocaine - their biggest haul ever...<<

Heavy load for a 707, even by media standards <g>.

17th Oct 2001, 06:26
I was gonna say the same thing. WOW, must have the gross weight increase mod!!

17th Oct 2001, 06:45
...with the new REALLY big engines...

17th Oct 2001, 07:08
with the water cannons kicked in, that 707 was one big hookah :eek: :eek:

17th Oct 2001, 11:08
Cyclic beat me to it, but I can't waste my headline - "Koda-caine". Yes, it was a Koda Air 707. Personnel arrested - allegedly 4 Brits, a Nigerian and one other.

17th Oct 2001, 12:01
Be interested to know the names.

17th Oct 2001, 13:00
I have seen a lot of drug importation cases over the years, and the street value calculated by Customs has steadily dropped. At one time cocaine was estimated at 100k per kilo, now it seems to be around 60k. This seizure is huge, but there is also a lot coming in carried by 'swallowers'. When City and media types snort coke up their noses, they may not realise that the stuff has spent a few days passing through the digestion of a Third World courier!

The Guvnor
17th Oct 2001, 13:42
Where's Koda based ... not one of those iffy Nigerian operators, by any chance? And as for the crew - CB-J wouldn't be amongst them? ;) :eek: ;)


Update: I have just been informed that, surprise surprise, Chris Barratt-Jolley was the captain of the aircraft. :eek: :D :eek: The skies will now be a safer place as he's unlikely to be taking to them again for a very long time - and I can think of several CAA Ops Inspectors that will be raising a glass or two to HM Customs & Excise!

Koda Air is Equatorial Guinea (3C) registered.

Also nicked, I hear, were F/O Pete 'Bananaman' Carine, F/E Martin Lake and L/M David Ogundipe.

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

Sick Squid
17th Oct 2001, 15:02

The Prime Directive of PPRuNe moderators is keeping the gentlemen who own this site out of jail. Hence, I have removed the names you posted above because I am not certain they are public domain yet, and as such lay the owners open to action.

A copy of the original, with the names has been posted in the administration forum.

This post is essentially history now, following the release of the names into the public domain. However, I would ask anyone wishing to comment on this thread that they read Capt PPRuNe's post on page 3 regarding the sub-judice nature of the case, and bear in mind any possible implications. Thanks. 6 19/11/01

[ 19 October 2001: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]

17th Oct 2001, 16:32
DULL DULL DULLPrune Moderators - they tell everyone whre they've put the juicy stuff, then deny access to the mere mortals. :D

Greg Baddeley
17th Oct 2001, 16:39
Unless C & E have changed their practices at SEN, it must have been a tip-off if the A/C was landing outside office hours. I met a 707 there over an Easter weekend a couple of years back, and there was no Customs presence because they didn't get overtime! I was collecting a consignment of spares from the hold, and could have driven airside, collected the stuff and left without a word being said! Needless to say, my honest nature precluded such actions and I had it all put in the bonded store until the Tuesday when it could be checked.

Mind you, if it had been coke instead of a bunch of 707 bits it might have been different..... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Boss Raptor
17th Oct 2001, 16:50
Well the apparent names of the arrested wont surprise anybody in the cargo side of the industry. Not the first time they've made the papers...let's hope this time they are dealt with!


17th Oct 2001, 17:01
I've heard that is was *** ******** and not *** ********* that was involved, although it could also be *** ****************.
But who can tell. :D :D

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: Techman ]

Grim Reaper 14
17th Oct 2001, 17:08
I know for certain that it was **** ********* and his usual running partner ****** ****. I can't believe that anyone was surprised. :eek:

Mr Angry from Purley
17th Oct 2001, 21:27
Shame the G*v**r wasn't involved, then we'd have to put up with him only for 1 hr a day C/O Her Majestys Prison Service rather than the usual 24 hrs a day.....
:mad: :mad: :mad:

Di - Hedral
17th Oct 2001, 21:52
So.. I heard a rumour that they were looking for two or more crew at SEN, but they've got them now ;)
Now it looks as though there's a couple of positions to be filled at Koda.
Anyone out there with a 707 type rating? :D :D

17th Oct 2001, 23:29
I saw The Guvnor's original post, and the name he mentioned jingled a dim and distant bell. Did Captain X fly for BIA in the early 1970s, when they still had DC3s?

Top Loadie
17th Oct 2001, 23:46
I hear what you're saying about the security at SEN.
Not so long ago I had to go and meet an unusual aircraft, which was a regular visitor to SEN, to retrieve some borrowed Jepps. It was the middle of summer, I'd never been to SEN before and the aircraft was due in at 0400hrs. I eventually found the airport, drove in what I thought was an entrance gate and found myself in amongst the aircraft, not a soul to be seen. I parked the van and, with passes ready, sat on the bonnet to enjoy the wonderful weather.
It was about an hour and a half before the aircraft arrived, I collected the Jepps and offered the crew a lift to the hotel and promptly drove out of the gate only to be told by the crew that it was the security gate.
On further investigation, the security guard was fast asleep in the portacabin, door locked, windows closed and ear defenders on!!! :rolleyes:
We never did manage to wake him up!!

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: Top Loadie ]

18th Oct 2001, 01:14
Di-hedral, are you sure they have more than one 707? There is only one down to KODA Air, 3C-GIG on the 707 register.

18th Oct 2001, 01:28
Yeah, and it had already been repaired once after a hard landing, guess it's back to the shop. ;)

Billy the Kid
18th Oct 2001, 01:58
2 things.
Firstly this is not the first time 500kg of coke has been found in the area. 2 or 3 years ago half a ton was found 3 miles SW of the airport in a lock-up garage.

Secondly, there is a public footpath which runs across the taxiway on the NW side, the footpath is about 50m from the runway and not visible from the tower (which the CAA ordered to relocate about 8 years ago).

So were the crew aware of the customs men and tryed to lob the gear onto the taxi way,
or was this a regular run.Land RWY 24, 360 deg. turn by the church lob the cargo out of the port side onto the grass by the footpath(this is all out of sight of the tower) then proceed to the ramp as normal. Villians waiting in the darkness by the runway side with wheelbarrows, ready to cart the stuff back to transport in the church carpark.

Sounds like SEN needs to rethink security.

freightdoggy dog
18th Oct 2001, 01:58
Guv, was *** also involved in the 1-11 that was flying in Afghanistan some years back? :confused:

The Guvnor
18th Oct 2001, 02:04
This aircraft was formerly based at JNB where it was operated first on the 3D then latterly 3C registers by Tradewinds Airlines - whose logo was a red version of the sail used by Tradewinds late of STN. Prior to their acquisition, it had been declared a constructive total loss by insurers following a heavy landing in Kinshasa, and it was parked at Safair's facility for a considerable time.

Whilst with Tradewinds, it was used extensively by certain parastatals in South Africa for the supply of 'agricultural equipment' to points in North Africa.

18th Oct 2001, 02:17
And what was the supposed legitimate reason for it going to Southend in the first place??

18th Oct 2001, 02:27
I talked to ********* **** and ***** *** today and they told me I could have the airplane if I was able to convince the authorities to turn it over to me. Be on the lookout for Mert'N Air coming soon to an airport near you!


The Guvnor
18th Oct 2001, 02:29
Freightdoggy Dog - indeed so; and also he effectively nicked one of Cessekou's B727s from BJL and took it to NBO where it was flogged to Mussa Bulhan. Allegedly, he was mugged in a hotel car park and the money was taken... :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

Hales and Pace - I can only assume maintenance at HeavyLift Engineering as it wasn't on the exempt list ... certainly with the profit from 500kgs of Colombian marching powder you could almost afford their bill! :D ;) :D

18th Oct 2001, 11:48
Was the brotherinlaw one of the "pilots"? I wander who was the f/e?

I'm just p****** in my pants laughing at the thought of *** taking it up the *** in some jail for a while. Now he and his mates will really know what it's like to be screwed.

Good show SEN customs. Keep up the good work. :D :D :D

Boss Raptor
18th Oct 2001, 12:11
Well it certinly seems like we all know who we are talking about...and also agree on the desired result...sure if he does walk free the owner of said substances will deal with him accordingly anyway...

Has to be one for the Pprune records! :p ;)

The Guvnor
18th Oct 2001, 13:29
From today's Telegraph:

Six held over runway cocaine
By David Sapsted
(Filed: 18/10/2001)

POLICE were continuing to question six men last night after Customs officers seized half a ton of cocaine when it was thrown from a cargo plane on to an airport runway.

The haul, with a street value of 32 million to 100 million - depending how it was cut - was the largest single seizure of cocaine flown into Britain.

The drug was packed into suitcases and hurled from the Boeing 707 as it landed at Southend Airport at 9pm on Tuesday. A Customs spokesman said: "The plane taxied to the end of the runway where it stopped. The cargo doors were opened and six huge suitcases were thrown out.

"The plane then taxied to the terminal building. It appears the plan was that the cocaine would be picked up later on."

However, around 30 undercover Customs officers stormed the aircraft and arrested five crew members and an airport worker; four Britons, a Nigerian and a Serb.

The plane, which was impounded, was found to have no other cargo. The men were taken to central London and were being questioned at an undisclosed location last night.

The six suitcases each containing about 200lbs of cocaine were so big and heavy that they needed three officers to carry each one. It is believed the suitcases were to be collected later.

Officers believe that cocaine was smuggled to the Caribbean from South America. The aircraft took off from Jamaica on Sunday night and stopped at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands before heading for Southend.


Knowing CB-J's propensity for wriggling out of things - and for screwing other people - it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was him that tipped off customs in exchange for the usual reward, what is it - 10% of the value of the seizure? It would be rather a lot more than he might have got for transporting it!

Self Loading Freight
18th Oct 2001, 15:35
Surely the thing to do is tell everyone that you're flying to somewhere up country, then declare a fake problem and divert to an alternate close at hand when you enter UK airspace. While C&E are still waiting for you at Aberdeen or wherever, dump contraband and vanish into night. You'll need a friend airside, but apart from that no-one need know your true intention.

Honestly... have these people no imagination? It's not called dope for nothing, I guess.

A Friend Of A Friend used to pay for his flying, electronics hobby and drug habit by pootling over to Holland in the club's Centurion, picking up a few kilos of goodies, slapping a radio beacon on them and throwing them overboard when he came home over Epping Forest. He'd pop back on his bike the next day and track the packages down. Eventually he got sloppy, spotted and nicked, in that order... but I'd be surprised if multiple similar scams aren't going on all the time.


18th Oct 2001, 15:36
Four men have been charged.

18th Oct 2001, 17:35
That's strange, I can't see the words Phoenix Aviation at all!

Link removed because of post below

Added after Capt P's edit - keen to stay within the law. Although this opens the debate whether documents easily available through Internet are "in the public domain", guess I don't want to be the one to test this!

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Capt PPRuNe ]

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: newswatcher ]

Capt PPRuNe
18th Oct 2001, 18:12
Be warned, if anyone has been charged you will not be allowed to discuss any past convictions or charges as the case becomes sub-judice. Be very careful otherwise you may be breaking the law. Your link may be a criminal offence newswatcher.

Whilst the names and addresses are now in the public domain they can be reported but be very careful of prejudicing any case by reporting previous convictions until after the current case. Three of the men charged are British. They are Christopher Barrett-Jolly, 54, from Wellington, Somerset, Peter Carine, 49, from Hensall, North Yorkshire and Martin John Lake, 60, from Storrington, West Sussex. The fourth man charged is Nigerian, David Ogundipe, 45, from Lagos.

If anyone is subsequently convicted or after the case ends you may bring up any previous history and discuss. Any legal types out there care to put a more professional opinion on what I have said?

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Capt PPRuNe ]

Greg Baddeley
18th Oct 2001, 18:47
Well said,Cap....shame to lose such a good thread, but the law's there for us all.

Grim Reaper 14
18th Oct 2001, 19:20
I'm glad to see that we're all such happy, knowledgeable, law abiding citizens. I've only got one question....if this CBJ is THAT notorious, why has it taken so long for him to be caught? Is it because those of us in the know are being 'derelict' in our duty, and not notifying those at HMCE of our suspicions? I wonder..... ;)

Captain Numpty
19th Oct 2001, 00:15

Mr "BJ" used to operate his 707 out of Coventry a few years ago, and had been known to rip out the ILS ariels there on more than one occasion!

19th Oct 2001, 03:19
Chucking contraband on an isolated taxiway in the dark or dropping it in the woods on the way in is a pretty good smuggling technique. The hard part is finding the self-control to stop picking up the easy money (the most addictive of all substances); so, many end up doing it again and again until nicked. Do it enough times and word will eventually get out and the authorities will be waiting. And if some shady character suggests such a money making opportunity, it may be because they are unsure whether the pilot (fall guy) will be nicked next time around.

19th Oct 2001, 09:42
Fortunately, the vast majority of light ac pilots are decent, honest folk. Because the freedom of movement within Europe, lax laws concerning the drug menace in certain countries and the number of cross-channel flights at weekends means that the unscrupulous might think that it's easy to smuggle illegal substances into the UK in order to make easy money.

But don't forget that Customs and Excise and the Police are not stupid. There is a very good chance that they know exactly who is going where and if a suspicious pattern develops, a few discreet investigations are made; if suspicions are confirmed then a trap is set and 'chummy' is usually caught 'bang to rights' and ends up being detained at HM pleasure. You'd be surprised at the interest taken by C&E - I was ask to pass details of a certain flight from my Club by one of the members as it had aroused suspicion; fortunately we were able to show that there had been a genuine misunderstanding (pilot had announced that he was going to aerodrome X and had set off in a totally different direction; in fact the pilot was going to a totally different and rarely used strip with a very similar sounding name) and we were thanked for our help. Obviously Officialdom had been monitoring local ATC frequencies and was doing a bit of investigating.........a few months later a massive drug seizure took place at a nearby aerodrome as tens of thousands of pounds worth of this filth were taken out of circulation.

So don't think, if you're tempted, that you'll get away with it. Good luck to the folks at Customs and Excise and the Police; most of the scum involved in the drug trade are greedy and will very soon get careless - just before they get caught and subsequently enjoy picking up the soap in a communal prison shower for a few years....

Devils Advocate
19th Oct 2001, 11:30
I think its already been said here on PPRuNe, but the latest news coming out of Afghanistan is that OBL has been mixing a soupcon of Anthrax in with the Heroin, Brown, "H", Smack, Scag, Scat, China white, Junk, Powder, Horse, etc......

Nb. Afghanistan is a major producer of the stuff, i.e. it's practically their only major export (after terrorism).

So, if true, all you drugies had better enjoy that next fix / dragon-chase, as it might very well be one of your last - and I have to say that there certainly seems to be a poetic justice about it !

Boss Raptor
19th Oct 2001, 13:04
Do you know that's the idea I came up with couple of days back...get rid of the 'druggies'...nice one :p

19th Oct 2001, 15:09
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but OBL is not stupid. Mad, bonkers, disturbed even, but not stupid.

Why on earth would he want to kill the druggies, they are one of his main sources of income.

No druggies = no drug trade = no money!!

However, as part of the war on terrorism, why don't the western governments carry out a cull :eek: :eek:

No druggies = no drug trade = no money = no rich terrorists!! :D :D :D

Ranger One
19th Oct 2001, 18:04
Be interested to see if they auction the 707... usual fate of vehicles involved in the 'trade' I believe... wonder what the description would read... 'one careful owner... several reckless ones'? :eek:

On the sub judice thing, I think it's a bit of a grey area on the net... I've been able to read detailed pre-charge reporting on the BBC website in several cases, and it doesn't magically diasappear after charges are laid or the trial starts! It may not be in order to post a direct link, but what about instructions to visit such and such a search engine and search on '****** ****** *****'?

19th Oct 2001, 19:10
I think that for all practical purposes the internet trancends sub-judice. not quite sure what the law can do about it.

I dont want to get captian pprune into trouble but someone here has already been very silly indeed :eek: :eek: :eek:

Self Loading Freight
19th Oct 2001, 20:16

Exactly. Bin Laden and pals are dead keen to keep the drug trade going because it's their only major source of income, and they see it as a poison that weakens the West and thus part of the jihad. The last thing they'd do would be to kill off all the punters. A rumour that all smack is contaminated with anthrax would probably be the work of western agencies, much as the 'acid has strychnine in' rumour probably was.

Incidentally, the thinking is that the Taliban are releasing vast amounts of stockpiled opium which they've kept back from a few recent bumper crops. There'll be a lot more smuggling going on, so that's something else for people to keep an extra sense of awareness about.


Devils Advocate
19th Oct 2001, 23:38
Legs & SLF, you haven't figured the above have you ? as in, it's meant to be a ruse, i.e. I was just trying to see how long it'd take to make the press - as in, it was made up !

Also, and fyi, I've known a few serious druggies and as far as I can tell, if needs must (and it usually does) they'd still wack it into themselves, Anthrax laden or not.

freightdoggy dog
20th Oct 2001, 00:17
Well if *** did tip off C+E for 10% off the haul, I hope he knows a good plastic surgeon, cos the boys from Essex will no doubt want to feed him to the fishes in the Thames Estuary :eek:

Green Guard
20th Oct 2001, 17:40
So we heard all about those who were charged and their names.
Can anybody name the only one in the crew
who apparently was an innocent crew member?

Stan Sted
21st Oct 2001, 14:31
I dread to think how many tons of dope each year trundle along the byways of Essex after being landed by aircraft, boats, cars and trucks.

For as long as I have lived in the county there have been regular big busts which have made national newspaper headlines. But how many drug runs are going undetected?

Only this morning a friend of mine, who is involved in GA, described how a light single had flown low (under 1,000ft) and fastish from east to west over his home in West Essex at 0405, orbited somewhere between two well-known airfields (both closed at the time) and returned heading east at about 0407.

He can't think of any good reason for a light aircraft to fly that sort of pattern, during foul weather conditions and so early on a Sunday morning.

There many be an innocent explanation, but it certainly makes you wonder what was going on.

[ 21 October 2001: Message edited by: Stan Sted ]

The Guvnor
21st Oct 2001, 15:24
I have long held that anyone involved in trafficking hard drugs should be handed over to the Saudis, Thais, Malaysians or Singaporeans.

Until such time that the risks outweigh the rewards, we'll continue to be inundated with this filth - for which people will be mugged, have their houses burgled and cars stolen top pay for the habits of the addicts.

Mr Angry from Purley
21st Oct 2001, 16:21

was c b-j involved with the Omega Air 707's a few years back??

Wanchai Butterfly
21st Oct 2001, 17:06
Aug 2000 CBJ was holled up in Angeles City Philippines with his partner... Arrived in another unidentified B707 and departed few month later.

Boss Raptor
21st Oct 2001, 17:16
Well as one of the accredited **-* hate squad I hope he 'aint going to get way with it this time...

BossRaptor, please read the post below before you make any more posts on this subject. Any more posts that even approach breaching the rules below will give me no option but to clode this thread.

[ 21 October 2001: Message edited by: Capt PPRuNe ]

21st Oct 2001, 18:27
Capt PPRuNe,

The issue is covered by the Contempt of Court Act 1981 which provides:
1. In this Act "the strict liability rule" means the rule of law whereby conduct may be treated as a contempt of court as tending to interfere with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so.

2.(1) The strict liability rule applies only in relation to publications, and for this purpose "publication" includes any speech, writing, programme included in a programme service or other communication in whatever form, which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public.

(2) The strict liability rule applies only to a publication which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will be seriously impeded or prejudiced.

(3) The strict liability rule applies to a publication only if the proceedings in question are active within the meaning of this section at the time of the publication.

Schedule 1 to the Act provides that proceedings are active following certain specified initial steps, one of which is arrest without warrant.

The risk that has to be assessed is the that which was created by the publication of the allegedly offending matter at the time when it was published. That the risk that was created by the publication when it was actually published does not ultimately affect the outcome of the proceedings is immaterial. The court must look at each publication seperately as at the date of publication and consider the likelihood that it would be read by a potential juror, the likely impact of the article on an ordinary juror at the time of the publication and its residual impact on a notional juror at the time of the trial.

Publication of the following matters, prejudicial to a defendant, have been held to amount to a contempt of court; details of previous convictions, alleged confessions, assertions of guilt and prejudicial photographs.

A court would take into account the relatively limited circulation of the offending material and therefore assess the likelihood of it being seen by a potential juror, nevertheless it would be sensible to restrain comments on previous convictions or even on "bad character" until the conclusion of the proceedings.

In addition the defence could seek to have the proceedings stayed if the the prejudicial nature of any pre-trial publicity was such as to render a fair trial impossible.

21st Oct 2001, 20:10
Good idea to pull this thread until after the case, should there be one, just to make sure nobody here, even unintentionally, jeapoardises anything. After that, we can all let rip, just like the Parkermeister thread. Most things have already been said anyway.

21st Oct 2001, 20:29
Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Here is a lesson for anyone else that is considering getting into the trafficking business. You are in it for keeps. There is no going back and if you want out, there is only one-way, often with a bullet in the head. (Or you son ends up at the bottom of a swimming pool, to get the message across) The traffickers and pushers are the scum of the earth that profit on the backs of other people’s misery. Needless to say, I have no sympathy for them.

The Guvnor
21st Oct 2001, 20:45
Ducksoup - I agree, it would be a great shame if **-* gets off on a technicality! :D :D :D