A legal battle is underway to claw back the criminal fortune of sneaky cocaine baron Johnny Kock– and prosecutors are seeking £93m. The pensioner is serving a 25-year prison sentence for running an international cocaine trafficking pipeline – at one stage importing an estimated £7m worth of the drug into the UK per month.
Jailed for importing Class A drugs
The now 70-year-old Dutch national, who flew under he radar for years by living in a nondescript semi-detached house in Willow Road, Wavertree, was jailed in October 2014 after admitting importing Class A drugs. At the time he sentenced him, Judge Mark Brown said Kock “literally flooded the streets” with cocaine - hidden in shipments of detergent from continental Europe which always ended up at his pond liner business, Aquaries Ltd, based in Binns Road industrial estate, Old Swan..
The total amount of cocaine seized during a National Crime Agency (NCA) operation was valued at £26m, but investigators estimated Kock may have imported up to 6,000kg of the drug in total – potentially worth up to a billion pounds.
Criminal fortune to be reclaimed
Now judge David Aubrey, QC, is set to determine how much of Kock’s criminal fortune can be reclaimed by the state following a five day Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at #Liverpool Crown Court. Alexander Leach, prosecuting, told the court that the Crown Prosecution Service placed the benefit figure – the amount Kock allegedly earned from his criminal empire – at £93m. However the figure is yet to be agreed with the defence team, led by Johan Grefstad, and the case will continue on Tuesday.
Kock’s operation was brought down only after border agents at the Channel Tunnel entrance in France uncovered 23kg of cocaine – with a purity of up to 88% – in a shipment of soap powder.
German customs officers were then made aware of a second shipment, found to contain 107kg of cocaine. The drugs were replaced with dummy packages by NCA detectives and sent on their way to their destination in Kirkby. Kock and his then partner Deborah Fagan, 48, were observed waiting of the packages.
Steve Baldwin, then regional head of investigations at the NCA, said at the time: “There aren’t many who get 25 years for drug trafficking. He has got connections and he played on them. He is a serious drug dealer. We have had many serious drugs barons put behind bars over the last few years but this guy is right up there. He is definitely right at the top – he sits alongside many of the more infamous drug barons that are well-known in the North West.”
Fagan, also of Willow Road, was jailed for 12 months in 2014 after admitting charges related to the drugs money. She was ordered to repay £27,000 of ill-gotten gains in an uncontested POCA hearing in August last year. #Drug Baron