Pair face life in jail over £580m Ireland drugs haul

Two British men are facing up to life behind bars after admitting their part in Ireland’s largest ever drugs seizure.

The record 1.9 ton haul of cocaine worth up to €675m (£595m) was recovered by elite navy teams on board a yacht as it struggled to stay afloat in the Atlantic Ocean.



Philip Doo from Devon and Christopher Wiggins of Costa del Sol in Spain pleaded guilty over their part in the elaborate international drug smuggling ring that was smashed 170 miles off the south west coast of Ireland.



The pair were caught after Irish navy, gardai and customs swooped on the 60ft ocean-going boat Dances With Waves off Cork last November acting on intelligence from agencies as it was tracked from South America.



Senior drug officers said the stash was destined for dealers in mainland Europe.



Doo, 52, and Wiggins, 42, admitted possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply during a brief hearing in Cork Circuit Criminal Court, yesterday.



The two spoke quietly as they entered their guilty pleas in the packed courtroom and showed no emotion as they were led away by prison guards.



The pair are facing anything from 10 years in prison to a maximum life sentence.



Tough anti-drug laws were introduced last year as part of amendments to the Criminal Justice Act as the Government sought harsher penalties for dealers and others involved in gangsterism.



Included in the crackdown was a mandatory 10 years in jail for any drug seizure worth more than €13,000 (£11,470).



Doo from Rocklands House, Higher Manor Road, Brixham, Devon, and Wiggins with an address at Mirador de Costalita, Estepona, Malaga, were remanded in custody by Judge Patrick J Moran.



They will be sentenced on 8 May.



A third British man will appear in court on Monday in relation to the seizure.



The haul — the largest in the history of the Irish state — was discovered in the hull of the ocean-going yacht about a month after the boat came to the attention of authorities in the Caribbean.



In treacherous seas, naval teams stood by to swoop on the damaged vessel.



Elite members of Ireland’s naval service were forced to board the stricken vessel under Operation Seabight amid fears it was about to overturn in storm force winds late on 5 November.



Doo and Wiggins were arrested.



Loaded with 75 bales of cocaine, it had been tracked by Europe’s anti-drug trafficking agency Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre — Narcotics (MAOC-N) across the Atlantic before Irish authorities moved in.



Under armed guard the yacht was sailed to Castletownbere, west Cork, where bales which filled the yacht’s hull were unloaded and stacked on the quayside.



Locals claimed isolated parts of Ireland’s rugged coastline have for years been a haven for international drug smugglers targeting Europe.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain