Dutch Gang Tried to Use James Bond-Style Scooter to Smuggle Cocaine Under the Sea
A Dutch drug gang plotted to smuggle more than £16 million of cocaine into the UK by using a "James Bond"-style underwater vehicle, a court has heard.
Henri Van Doesburg, 68, Arnold Van Milt, 49, Roderick Van Doesburg, 23, and Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg, 22, plotted to remove 108kg of the drug from a ship in Scotland using a Seabob vessel and other scuba diving equipment, Leeds Crown Court heard.
The men went on trial on Tuesday charged with conspiracy to import illegal drugs into the UK.
Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, told the jury the men were arrested after customs officers found more than 50 packages of extremely high purity cocaine in the rudder space of the Cape Maria vessel at Hunterston, near Largs, Ayrshire, on May 9.
He said the "enormous" amount of the drug had a potential street value of around £16.2 million.
Mr Mitchell said Van Milt, Roderick Van Doesburg and Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg were arrested in Seamill the same evening. Henri Van Doesburg was arrested in Aalsmeer, in the Netherlands, the next day.
The prosecutor said Van Milt, Roderick Van Doesburg and Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg all had scuba diving experience and planned to access the drugs in the ship from the outside.
When police searched their car and an inflatable speedboat, they found dry suits, other scuba diving equipment and the Seabob.
Describing the underwater vehicle to the jury of nine women and three men, Mr Mitchell said: "You might have seen them used by James Bond and James Bond's adversaries."
He added: "It's the kind of thing you use if you need to travel underwater at high speed."
*Original story: The Telegraph via Google News
*Image Credits: Flickr/Valerie Everett Wikimedia BBC News CC2.0
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