Cocaine trial – jury out

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A MAN charged with conspiring to bring £34 million worth of cocaine into the UK has told a court he is a ‘victim of coincidence’.

Frederick Colverson, of Galsworthy Avenue, London, told Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday that a string of phone calls, documents and foreign bank accounts had nothing to do with drug deals.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiring to supply a Class A drug.

Colverson, who is unemployed, also told the jury how his holidays to destinations including the Caribbean island of Aruba were paid for by his ‘wheeling and dealing’.

Colverson, 56, and his business partner Terrance Smith, 57, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, were both arrested on October 31 last year after police uncovered a delivery of cocaine to an industrial unit in Highbury Road, Brandon.

Colverson told the court he had been at the unit on the day as Smith – his ‘best mate’ – had tipped him off about two Mercedes that he might be interested in buying to sell on.

But David Holborn, prosecuting, said Colverson was lying and that a number of phone calls between him and Smith at the time of the shipment’s arrival in Felixstowe proved his involvement.

Mr Holborn then talked Colverson through a series of documents found in his car and home which were covered with scribbled calculations and names.

The documents, some of which had Colverson’s handwriting on, were related to the shipments of pineapples in which the cocaine was hidden, according to Mr Holborn.

Colverson claimed the documents were left in his car by Smith.

He was also questioned in relation to a series of payments of thousands of pounds he had made to bank accounts in Portugal, Germany and Thailand.

Colverson said the payments were on behalf of Smith and that he had not asked who they were going to.

Mr Holborn replied: “Would you seriously take that risk if you didn’t know who the money was going to?

“You could have been mixing yourself with a murderer, international drug deals, fraud, anything as far as you know.”

The jury retired to consider its verdict yesterday morning.