Thursday, 21 April 2011

Gangland drug haul suspect Dawes appears before Spanish judge

A MAN named as a Notts drugs "general" has appeared before a Spanish judge – nearly three years after he was first arrested in Dubai.

Robert Dawes, 39, has previously been named in court as one of three men who ran the drugs trade in north Notts.

The other two are currently serving long jail terms.

Dawes left Notts for the Mijas Costa, near Marbella in Spain, nine years ago and later relocated to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

He was arrested in 2008 in Dubai over the seizure of almost 200kg of cocaine – then worth around £14m – near Madrid in 2007. But Spain has no extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates and it has taken until now for him to be taken back to Spain.

Dawes was held on an international arrest warrant last Wednesday in Dubai and was flown to Madrid on Thursday to appear before a duty judge.

A spokesman for the Guardia Civil, the Spanish police, said that Dawes was expected to be formally charged in Court 32 in Madrid over the cocaine seizure when the Spanish courts reopened after Easter.

The cocaine seizure operation was led by the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency with the backing of the Guardia Civil.

Meanwhile, the Post understands that Notts Police have contacted the widow of Sutton-in-Ashfield father-of-two David Draycott, who was murdered in 2002, to inform her that Dawes is in custody in Spain.

A police spokesman said: "Detectives are continuing to investigate the murder of David Draycott and are following up a number of lines of inquiry."

At a recent assets recovery hearing at Birmingham Crown Court involving alleged associates of Dawes, he was named in court papers by investigators from the Serious Organised Crime Agency as a "highly significant international criminal" wanted in three countries, including the UK and Holland.

In Holland, he is under investigation in connection with the murder of schoolteacher Gerard Meesters in Groningen in 2002.

Both Mr Meesters and Mr Draycott were gunned down outside their homes. Two British men were convicted for their roles in the murder of Mr Meesters, who was killed after he refused to reveal the location of a woman who, the court was told, had been working as a drugs courier for Dawes. The two convicted men refused to state who else was involved in the killing, citing fear of reprisals against their relatives.

Dawes was also named in court during the trial of Gary Hardy as one of three "generals" who ran the drugs trade in north Notts, along with his brother John Dawes and Hardy himself.

Hardy is serving a 20-year jail term for conspiracy to supply heroin and amphetamines, money laundering and possessing criminal property. John Dawes is doing 24 years for money laundering and conspiracy to deal in drugs.

John Dawes was friends with Bestwood crime boss Colin Gunn, and the Post previously told how Hardy had held a "drug dealer's lottery" for a Mercedes car, with £1,000 tickets bought by both Colin Gunn and his brother David.

Colin Gunn is serving a minimum of 35 years for conspiracy to murder, while David Gunn was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for conspiring to supply amphetamines, before being released on parole and then sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence for breaching the terms of his parole.

John Dawes and his father, Arthur "Eddie" Dawes, were jailed in 2005, with Arthur Dawes receiving eight years in prison for money laundering.


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