Man was 'vital cog' in botched drugs plot, court told
Published 12/02/2010 | 05:00
A MAN accused of supplying three off-road vehicles to a gang which bungled a €440m cocaine-smuggling operation off the Irish coast has gone on trial in Britain.
John Edney (57), of Sutton-at-Hone, Dartford, Kent, England, was described in court yesterday as a small but vital cog in the drugs plot.
Mr Edney denies conspiracy to supply cocaine.
It is alleged that, on or before July 9, 2007, he conspired together with Michael Daly (49), Alan Wells (56) and others to supply the cocaine.
Daly -- a retired police detective -- and Wells have both pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy.
Mr Edney becomes the seventh person to stand trial in relation to the dramatic events off Dunlough Bay in west Cork almost three years ago.
The prosecution said the entire operation was like something from the James Bond film 'Casino Royale', with a plot to land 1.5 tonnes of cocaine from a yacht in the remote bay using powerful Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
The cocaine would then be loaded into vehicles and transported to Britain.
However, the whole operation collapsed when one of the RIBs overturned in heavy seas after its outboard engine stalled because it was accidentally filled with diesel instead of petrol.
The court heard that three men were already convicted in Ireland in relation to their role in the smuggling operation -- while a fourth admitted his part on the opening day of the trial.
The trial continues today.