BRITISH drugs baron Brian Charrington stands trial this week in Alicante’s provincial High Court, accused of drugs offences.
He and eight henchmen face 18-year prison terms for bringing cocaine into Spain aboard a leisure craft via Altea.
The drugs were found in an Albir villa ready for distribution, one of Charrington’s 10 Costa Blanca properties which police believe provided boltholes for fugitives from British and international justice.
When the Policia Nacional raided his Calpe home in July 2013, Charrington was one of the UK’s 10 most-wanted criminals.
They impounded assets worth €5 million that included 200 kilos of cocaine, €500,000 in cash, several top-of-the-range vehicles and six boats.
Seven people were arrested in Spain and six in Venezuela in a joint investigation involving police in Spain, the UK, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
Charrington was notorious for maintaining his own Wikipedia entry which he meticulously updated with details of his exploits at the head of an international drugs network.
In the past the narco-trafficker had been imprisoned in the UK, France and Germany as well as Spain where he was arrested in Calpe in 1997 with four tons of hashish.
The operation leading to Charrington’s arrest began in 2010 and centred on his girlfriend who had a previous relation with a French trafficker and career criminal, Alain Coelier, who was shot that year in La Nucia, together with a bodyguard.