Mo­ment UK po­lice cap­ture ‘un­touch­able’ £100m drug lord in his lair

Daily Mail - - News - By Andy Dolan

BOUND and hooded, a drugs lord lies on the floor as his £100mil­lion empire is fi­nally brought to a halt by po­lice. James Mul­vey, 42, headed a panEuro­pean cannabis and co­caine smug­gling net­work and con­sid­ered him­self ‘un­touch­able’.

Spend­ing al­most seven years in lux­ury ho­tels around the world, he paid in cash to live like ‘a ghost’ in an at­tempt to foil in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

but his reign came to an end when of­fi­cers tracked him down to his bolt­hole in Lithua­nia, where he was ar­rested wear­ing just his shorts.

Pic­tures of the mo­ment the drugs king­pin was cap­tured emerged as he was jailed for 32 years yes­ter­day.

birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard how co­caine shipped by Mul­vey’s gang had a street value of £42mil­lion, with an­other £60mil­lion for the cannabis. us­ing his own le­git­i­mate haulage com­pany as cover, he brought drugs from bel­gium through Hol­land and the UK to Ire­land, stor­ing them overnight at a de­pot in a vil­lage which in­spired Am­bridge in The Archers.

The fa­ther- of-five, from Soli­hull in the West Mid­lands, was one of four bosses at the top of a con­spir­acy which al­lowed him to send his chil­dren to a £39,000-a-year pub­lic school. He laun­dered more than £11mil­lion through off­shore ac­counts in Mauritius, Monaco and the Isle of Man.

Much of his ill-got­ten gains went on prop­erty deals in the uK and Europe, in­clud­ing a £ 1.13mil­lion Span­ish villa com­plete with in­fin­ity pool and cinema room.

Cash was splashed on jew­ellery and lux­ury watches, and Mul­vey also had in­ter­ests in at least three birm­ing­ham nightspots. Jurors were told he would go through £5,000 a week to sup­port his lux­ury life­style and co­caine binges, but de­nied the cash had come from smug­gling the drug he was so par­tial to.

His illicit cargo went through a haulage yard in the vil­lage of Inkber­row, Worces­ter­shire – bet­ter known as the in­spi­ra­tion for Am­bridge in The Archers – hid­den in in­dus­trial sized me­tal rollers.

Five peo­ple were con­victed in novem­ber 2009 for their part in the op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing staff who worked for Mul­vey’s trans­port firm. Hav­ing seen his as­so­ciates jailed, Mul­vey re­mained out of the uK un­til 2012, when he briefly re­turned to visit his ailing fa­ther. He was fi­nally ar­rested in Lithua­nia in March last year, fol­low­ing an op­er­a­tion in­volv­ing 150 na­tional Crime Agency and over­seas col­leagues across nine coun­tries.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say they still can­not ac­count for £7.8mil­lion that went through off­shore ac­counts. At the end of a ten­week trial, jurors con­victed Mul­vey of con­spir­ing to smug­gle drugs be­tween 2006 and 2007. Two ex-girl­friends, who had both suf­fered do­mes­tic vi­o­lence at his hands, gave ev­i­dence against him via video link. one source who knows him told the Mail: ‘He doesn’t have any rogu­ish charm. He comes across ex­actly as he looks – as a com­mon thug.’

Judge Mark Wall QC told Mul­vey: ‘You gave ev­i­dence that you your­self have taken co­caine for many years.

‘ You would have been acutely aware of the mis­ery and ru­ined lives that this drug brings in its wake.’

Got him: James Mul­vey lies on the floor in just his shorts as po­lice raid his Lithua­nia hide­out

On the run: He spent 7 years in ho­tels abroad

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.