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Former cop pivotal’ to cocaine conspiracy

PUBLISHED: 10:09 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:36 25 August 2010

OVERBOARD: Parcels of cocaine are pulled from the sea.

OVERBOARD: Parcels of cocaine are pulled from the sea.

A RETIRED detective sergeant played a key role in a bungled plot to smuggle £253million worth of cocaine into the UK on an inflatable boat, a court heard.

A RETIRED detective sergeant played a key role in a bungled plot to smuggle £253million worth of cocaine into the UK on an inflatable boat, a court heard.

Michael Daly, 49, from Bexley, was a key organiser who planned to share the 'huge profits' had the craft not capsized in treacherous conditions, spilling its 1.5 tonne load off the Irish coast in July 2007.

Mark Gadsden, prosecuting, told jurors of Daly's role at Blackfriars Crown Court, after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

John Edney, 57, of Main Road, Sutton-at-Hone, described as a 'vital cog' in the plot, is alone in the dock accused of supplying three Land Rovers for the enterprise.

Speaking last Thursday, Mr Gadsden said: "This case concerns a conspiracy to supply slightly in excess of one and a half metric tonnes of high-purity cocaine.

"As must be obvious, say the prosecution, those involved in that conspiracy were playing for very high stakes."

Edney denies conspiracy to supply cocaine on or before July 9, 2007.

Mr Gadsden said in late 2006 Edney paid £46,402 cash for three Land Rovers, which he then modified, and insured them using false names and addresses.

The vehicles were used to tow the two boats and transport them to Ireland on a car ferry.

Edney was a trusted member of the operation, Mr Gadson told the court. He said: "It may well be that Edney is a small cog in what is otherwise a big machine, but he is a vital cog without whom the engine doesn't work."

In the months following the swoop, Edney was filmed in an undercover police operation meeting Daly, who was on the run. They drank in the Bridges Pub, South Darenth, near Edney's home.

Car salesman Daly retired from the Metropolitan Police Service in the '90s.


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