Vessel sold to fight crime after biggest drug seizure in Europe
BY CHARLIE GALL [email protected]lyrecord.co.uk A TUGBOAT seized with more than half a billion pounds worth of cocaine off Scotland has been sold – with the funds going to fight crime.
The MV Hamal was intercepted by the Royal Navy and Border Force off the Aberdeenshire coast in 2015.
Officers ripped the vessel apart in Aberdeen Harbour and uncovered three tons of high-purity cocaine hidden behind sealed panels.
The captain and secondin-command of the Turkish boat were later convicted at the High Court in Glasgow.
Mumin Sahin, 47, and Emin Ozmen, 50, were caged for 20 years after the vessel was stopped 100 miles east of the Aberdeenshire coast.
It remains the biggest drugs seizure made in UK and European waters.
Now the boat, forfeited by the court, has raised £72,000 at auction for the national proceeds of crime cash fund – used to promote crime prevention measures across Scotland.
Aidan Larkin, head of asset recovery at Wilson’s Auctioneers, said: “The MV Hamal is by no means the largest asset we have sold but it does come with the most memorable back story.
“We sell on anything from gold bars to race horses. Our proceeds of crime sales have become more numerous. We now have one every two weeks whereas there used to be one every couple of months.”
In the past five years, more than £41million has been confiscated or recovered from criminal and civil recovery orders in Scotland.
JAIL Coke smugglers Emin Ozmen and Mumin Sahin
COLLARED Navy ship intercepts MV Hamal