Cocaine seizure: Men jailed after 750kg haul found on boat

Scott Kilgour (L) and Gary Swift (R)

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Scott Kilgour (L) and Gary Swift (R) were arrested on board the yacht

Two men have been jailed for conspiracy to import cocaine after one of the largest hauls of the drug in UK history was found on board a boat.

About 750kg of cocaine was recovered from the boat in Pembrokeshire in August, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Gary Swift, 53, from Liverpool, was sentenced to 19-and-a-half years in prison. Scott Kilgour, 41, also from Liverpool, was jailed for 13-and-a-half years.

Both will serve half these sentences.

They will then be released on licence. Both men pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

The court heard the two men were caught “red handed” with 751kg of cocaine on board their vessel, which they sailed across the Atlantic.

Swift and Kilgour sailed from the Canary Islands in June 2019 to collect the class A drug from Suriname, a small country on the north east coast of South America.

Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, said Swift conducted a “dummy run” across the Atlantic in another vessel called the Mistral in December 2017.

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About 750kg of cocaine was recovered from the boat in August

That vessel got into difficulties off the Welsh coast and was towed into Fishguard harbour for repairs and this incident alerted authorities to Swift’s activities.

Over a year later, in another boat, the SY Atrevido, Swift, along with Kilgour, sailed again from the European mainland to Suriname to collect the cocaine.

The boat was under surveillance and arrived in St Bride’s Bay on 25 August.

Border Force Officers intercepted the vessel on 27 August near Fishguard. They arrested the pair and towed the boat to the nearby harbour for inspection.

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The men were arrested on board the yacht about a mile off the Fishguard coast.

Swift told officers: “I’m the bad one here. I had to come clean. I’m glad it’s over.”

The court heard the drug was packed into every available storage space on board, including the fridge.

Anthony Barraclough, defending, said Swift – who had been declared bankrupt – was “talked into” the drugs run across the Atlantic by a customer at the hotel he owned.

The vessel was purchased by Kilgour in Majorca in December 2018.

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