THE head of a £31million international drug trafficking network has been jailed for 18 years, The Sun reports.
“Career criminal” Paul Monk, 56, oversaw the importation of 997 kilograms of cocaine into the UK having evaded justice for years after fleeing overseas, the Metropolitan Police said.
He was snared by authorities in Spain when they searched a house in Javea, near Alicante, last April, finding piles of cash hidden in pot plants and paperwork outlining his illicit operations.
A fake passport and an imitation gun was also said to be found during the search. Police said Monk, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 18 years on Wednesday after admitting conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between January 2014 and April 2015.
He was given a concurrent sentence of four years for supplying cocaine in Cockfosters, north London, in May 2013, police said.
Monk had been at large after slipping abroad in December 2013 despite being required to stay in the UK as part of a nine-year prison sentence for importing cannabis in 2007. A European Arrest warrant was issued for him in May 2014.
After being captured by Spanish police, he was brought back to the UK on May 7 2015, where he was charged with supplying a kilogram of cocaine and was eventually charged for his hand in the supply operation in September 2016.
Detective Sergeant David Williams said: “Monk is a career criminal who showed a disregard for the laws of UK after he fled to Spain in 2013 to escape justice.
“He obtained false identity documents in order to evade authorities while he continued to run an international drug supply network from his home in Spain.
“After his arrest, expert analysis by Met detectives revealed the large scale of Monk’s drug trafficking network and of the huge sums of money he was receiving for the illegal importation of cocaine to the UK.
“This evidence has proved crucial in establishing the pivotal role Monk played in the drugs network. “Monk has been sentenced to a lengthy period in custody and I would like to thank the Guardia Civil for their co-operation in the investigation that secured this conviction.
“We will continue to work together to ensure all the proceeds of Monks’ drug trafficking.empire are confiscated.”