HomeNewsBriefLatAm Police Help Catch Top British Narco
BRIEF

LatAm Police Help Catch Top British Narco

EUROPE CRIME / 17 JUL 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

One of Europe's most wanted men, accused of running a major trafficking ring that smuggled drugs from Latin America to Spain, has been arrested in a transnational operation involving police from Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) also helped Spanish police as they captured Brian Charrington and his son in the Spanish town of Alicante, the culmination of a three-year operation. An additional seven people, including Charrington's girlfriend, were arrested in Venezuela. Ameripol, a policing agency bringing together the United States and 19 Latin American and Caribbean nations, was also involved.

Charrington's organization allegedly used a fleet of yachts to transport cocaine from South America to Spain, constantly buying, selling and moving boats to avoid detection. A tip-off about the imminent departure from Venezuela of a boat loaded with drugs sparked the wave of arrests.

Police seized goods worth more than $6.5 million, reported Reuters. More than 200 kilos of cocaine was seized, worth $13.7 million according to newspaper The Daily Mirror (presumably based on the street value in Europe and the United Kingdom).

Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said Charrington was believed to have overseen the smuggling of around 25 tons of cocaine from South America to Europe over the last decade.

InSight Crime Analysis

This is a major pay-off for a long-running transnational police operation, bringing down an influential international drug trafficking ring and a man who has been a key player in the European drugs market since the 1980s.

Italian mafia group the 'Ndrangheta are believed to be responsible for around 80 percent of all cocaine entering the European market, working with Colombian suppliers. No information has been released about where Charrington sourced his supply from. What we do know is that he used a typical route -- Venezuela is a major jumping-off point for drugs travelling to Europe. The United Nations has estimated that 40 percent of all European cocaine is shipped from Venezuela.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2014

Authorities in Argentina have confirmed the recent arrest of an alleged high-level member of the 'Ndrangheta mafia wanted in Italy…

BRAZIL / 30 JUL 2021

There is one crucial quality for any successful wildlife trafficker: tenacity. And Kirill Kravchenko had it in spades.

EUROPE CRIME / 12 FEB 2014

A billion dollar drug smuggling operation linked to the Italian mafia and dismantled by authorities in the United States and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…