'I'm done now' | 

Drug trafficker who smuggled coke concealed in meat is jailed after eight years on the run

In April of last year his operations came to a halt when he was arrested by Dubai Police

Michael Paul Moogan

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

One of the most wanted men in the UK has admitted his part in a large-scale international drug trafficking plot as he was brought to justice after eight years on the run.

Michael Paul Moogan (36) from Croxteth, Liverpool, vanished in October 2013 following a raid on a cafe suspected of being a front for meetings between drug traffickers and cartels.

The notorious Café de Ketel in Rotterdam, which was a business not open to the public, could only be entered via a security system and was strictly for known faces.

The NCA had become aware of information that linked Moogan and two other British men to the venue which was the hub for Moogan’s conspiracy to bring hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the UK every month.

After the Dutch National Crime Squad raided the cafe, only one of the men, Robert Hamilton (71) from Hale, Greater Manchester, could be found.

He was later jailed for eight years in 2014 after pleading guilty to drug charges.

Another man Robert Gerard (57) from Liverpool, handed himself in to the NCA after three years on the run.

He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and was jailed in 2017 for 14 years.

Moogan and his associates were involved in plans to import drugs from Latin America to the EU.

It was established that Moogan could access $500,000 to fund his cocaine deals from South American suppliers who would ship the Class A drug to Belgium.

Through Iraqi nationals based in the UK, he was able pay in lump sums rather than in instalments which is common in large scale drugs supply.

Evidence also showed he had the ability to bribe port officials to help ensure the cocaine he brought into the UK concealed in meat from Argentina, was not stopped.

As well as shipping from South America, Moogan used road transport networks stretching from Bulgaria to Latvia, Spain and Belgium to facilitate the movement of cocaine to the UK.

However, in April of last year his operations came to a halt when he was arrested by Dubai Police.

NCA officers established Moogan was using numerous false identities to avoid capture.

He had a German passport, and also a driver’s licence and citizen card in the name of Michael Dier but displaying his own image.

Dubai Police believe that after entering the UAE using a different identity, he tried to avoid CCTV in an attempt to elude detectives who used their latest capabilities to track him down.

Moogan was the 86th person arrested under Operation Captura – an NCA fugitive campaign run in conjunction with Crimestoppers.

After being extradited to the UK, he told the NCA arresting officer: “You’re not going to have any trouble from me.

“I’m tired now. Get me up to Manny and get me in Cat A.

“I’m done now.”

Moogan was transported to police custody in Greater Manchester and on Friday 4 November he appeared at Manchester Crown Court wher he admitted conspiring to import Class A drugs.

He will return to court to be sentenced at a date to be fixed.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Ben Rutter said: “Moogan’s long overdue conviction is the result of years of investigation by the NCA and law enforcement partners in the UK, Europe and Middle East.

“We are particularly thankful to the Dubai Police for their hard work in tracking Moogan down and ensuring his return to the UK where he has admitted his guilt.

“This case should serve as a warning to others on the run from the NCA – we have a global reach, we never give up and they can never rest easy.

“Moogan was a major figure in international drug dealing.

“His consignments of Class A drugs undoubtedly brought misery and real harm to the UK communities they reached.”

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