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Monday, 24 March 2014
"Curtis Warren To Challenge 'Ridiculous' Jersey Confiscation Order"
Curtis Warren to launch legal fight over £198m global drug dealing fortune he was ordered to pay back
Warren to appeal legitimacy of "ridiculous" confiscation order imposed on him last year
Warren, Britain’s biggest drugs trafficker, is appealing the legitimacy of the huge confiscation order imposed on him last year in Jersey.
Prosecutors said he was involved in a “staggering” international drug network and continued “trading from prison” to further his empire.
They alleged that his wealth was concealed in foreign property ventures and complicated third-party ownership.
But the 51-year-old – who has spent a near-continuous 17 years behind bars – sees the £198m figure as “ridiculous”.
Warren is tomorrow set to appear by video-link at Jersey’s Court of Appeal from Belmarsh prison, near London.
His lawyers are set to challenge the validity and legality of the ruling in an appeal that is expected to last for most of the week.
Should he lose, Warren will spend another 10 years in jail in default of not paying back the cash.
In November, the Royal Court decided on the balance of probabilities that Warren had amassed £198m through crime and that he had the assets to meet that fortune.
The case against the Toxteth-born former bouncer was centred around cocaine trafficking evidence between 1991 and 1996 – much of which Warren was never convicted over.
The court also heard evidence that Warren continued “trading from prison” to further his empire and made and received 35,000 calls from 40 countries while on remand in Jersey’s La Moye prison.
Prosecutors claimed that drugs profits may have been squirrelled away in Swiss bank accounts, a 34-bed mansion, a Dutch pallets business, a Turkish property deal, land with permission for 40 homes and even an African gold mining venture.
The onus was on Warren to prove he did not have any cash but he chose to stay silent throughout the three-week trial after being refused immunity from prosecution in the dock.
Six lay judges agreed that he failed to prove he had not earned that amount through criminality “on the balance of probability”.
Warren is currently serving a 13-year term over a £1m cannabis smuggling plot in Jersey in 2007.