Brian Charrington used to be a second hand car dealer in Middlesbrough before he realised there was a lot more money to be made from peddling drugs. He moved to Spain where, along with his son, he built up an empire that afforded him 10 homes, several expensive cars and six boats in the Marina Alta area.
The modus operandus was to smuggle cocaine from Venezuela using a fleet of boats. In total, it is reckoned that 25 tonnes of the white powder were transported this way for sale in Europe. At the time of arrest, police found 220kg of the stuff in an apartment in L’Albir. They also impounded property and bank accounts worth over 5 million euros.
Altogether, joint operations have now caught 52 out of 65 British fugitives in Spain. Investigations continue to find the rest.