Five years after his arrest and seven months from the start of his trial a sixty-one-year-old British drug dealer, finally received justice from an Alicante court, earlier this week.
Brian Charrington, a former Middlesborough car dealer, was jailed for a minimum of fifteen years and ordered to pay 26 million euros fine to the Spanish courts.
The Brit drug baron was arrested, along with son Ray, who was also one of the nine defendants tried in April over a massive £10million, cocaine seizure in Albir near Benidorm, which took place in July 2013.
Ray Charrington, was also handed a three and a half year jail sentence after being convicted of money laundering.
The three trial judges announced their verdicts and sentences, in a 66-page written document in which they acquitted five of the nine defendants, including Brian’s French girlfriend Isabelle Robert and a Brit named as Wayne Sherwin.
After a long investigation, police entered a number of Costa Blanca properties belonging to Charrington and Robert in the raid five years ago.
This followed a tip-off from French police, claiming the couple were running a drugs-smuggling operation, bringing cocaine into Europe from Venezuela.
Police revealed at the time of the operation, they had seized around 200 kilos of cocaine worth £10million at an apartment in Albir, said to have been smuggled into Spain through the nearby port of Altea.
Prosecutors claimed Charrington tried to erase information he had chalked on a blackboard in his office about amounts of cocaine and sale prices during the raid on his home.
The drug baron’s first brush with authorities came in 1992 when he was arrested along with gangster associate, Curtis Warren, whose personal fortune was so large he appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List.
The pair were arrested after a shipment of more than 900 kilos of cocaine from Venezuela, sealed inside lead ingots in steel boxes was discovered.
The subsequent trial collapsed after it transpired Charrington was a police informant for the North-East Regional Crime Squad and Britain’s security forces went on to re-home him in Australia but his visa was revoked shortly after his arrival.
However, his drug trafficking activities continued after he settled in a fortified villa on the Costa Blanca, where he laundered millions of euros for North African drug dealers.
He was jailed twice in the 2000’s after extradition proceedings were enforced by both German and French authorities.
At the time of his final arrest in 2013, Spanish police described Charrington, as ‘one of the ten most investigated criminals’ by European police forces and a ‘leader of an international gang of drugs smugglers’.
The court also imposed penalties of 10 and 12 years, respectively, on two other defendants, Ivo Du Chatenier and Aleksei Pustovarov, for drug trafficking and membership of a criminal organization, after ruling that they actively participated in transportation, storage and distribution. of the drug.
However, they acquitted girlfriend, Isabelle Robert, who is the former lover of Alain Coelier, a French drugs trafficker and right-hand man of Charrington’s.
Coelier was shot dead on the Costa Blanca in June 2010 along with his bodyguard days after being released on bail from prison.
Charrington and his son have been given five days to appeal against their convictions and sentences. He has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, claiming he earned his estimated 20 million fortune from property sales and “paid his taxes”