Gangster Curtis Warren, thought to be one of Britain’s richest criminals, has lost his appeal against a conviction for plotting to smuggle £1 million worth of cannabis, court officials said.
Liverpool-born Warren, 46, started a 13-year jail term in December after he and five others were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to import the drugs from mainland Europe to Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Warren, known by his nickname “Cocky”, was once Interpol’s most wanted man and he is the only drug dealer to have appeared in the Sunday Times Rich List when, in 1997, he was listed as a “property developer” worth £40 million.
Warren was convicted of the Jersey plot alongside John Welsh, 43, originally from Liverpool, who was jailed for 12 years, and James O’Brien, 45, from Glasgow, who got 10 years. Jason Woodward, 22, from Kent, and Jersey men Paul Hunt, 27, and Oliver Lucas, 23, were each handed five-year terms.
A spokeswoman for the Judicial Greffe, Jersey’s court service, said defence teams appealed against the six convictions on five separate grounds but all were refused by a panel of judges led by Dame Heather Steel.
In addition, appeals against the length of their sentences made by Warren, Welsh, O’Brien and Woodward were also denied.
The plot, the trial heard, would have seen 397lb (180kg) of cannabis bought in Amsterdam and driven back in a hire car through Belgium and France to the Normandy coast where it was then to be picked up by boat and smuggled on to the island where it was to be sold on the streets at massive profit.
But when Warren’s co-accused failed to come up with the cash, the plan fell apart and police swooped to arrest the conspirators in July 2007 before the deal could be done.
During the trial the court heard secret recordings made by police bugs fitted in the hire car and in public phone boxes around the island’s capital St Helier.
Last month Jersey police launched legal action against Warren under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the hope of seizing an estimated £100 million of his ill-gotten gains.