Grocer Hid Cocaine in Pomegranates, Watermelons, Strawberries, and Veggies Must Pay Back £400K
LONDON, UK - A UK grocer sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in smuggling cocaine in crates of pomegranates, watermelons, strawberries, cauliflower, and broccoli is back in court this week.
John Fowler, who operated a greengrocer in the Covent Garden neighborhood of London’s West End, has been ordered to pay back more than £416,739 in profits he had gained through the drug trade—more than $540,000 USD—or face additional years in prison, according to the Evening Standard.
Fowler was described by the Standard as a “top lieutenant” and “right-hand man” of Kevin Hanley—a “top, top man” in the cocaine trade who transported “vast quantities of cocaine,” sourced from Venezuela, across Europe and the UK. Fowler was the front for the operation that ferried through at least £5 million ($6,452,000) of drugs.
Fowler appeared in court via video link from prison—and detailed plans to sell assets, including a flat in Bermondsey, to settle his debt. If Fowler fails to pay his debt in a timely fashion, he may face another four years in prison.
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