Three men remanded in custody after €80 million drugs seizure

Accused made their second court appearance on drug charges via video link

Members of the Irish navy standing behind what is believed to be around a tonne of cocaine seized from the yacht Makayabella, in an international operation involving the Irish Navy and the NCA. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Three men have been remanded in continuing custody in connection with the seizure of €80 million worth of cocaine aboard a yacht off the Irish coast last month.

Britons John Powell (70), Benjamin Mellor (35) and Thomas Britteon (28) are each charged with a single offence relating to the seizure of the tonne of cocaine aboard the yacht, Makayabella

Each of the accused was charged by gardaí last Friday night with possessing cocaine on board the yacht some 217 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland on September 23rd.

The state alleges in the charge that the three men possessed the cocaine with intent to import the drug contrary to Irish legislation or the laws of any other state.


Today, all three made their second appearance on the single charge when they appeared before Judge Leo Malone at Cork District Court by video link.

Inspector John Deasy said gardaí were seeking a continuing remand in custody for the DPP's directions and both Powell and Mellor consented to a month long remand.

Judge Malone remanded Powell of Airedale Mews, Silsden, West Yorkshire and Mellor of Manningham, Mornington Villas, Bradford in custody to appear again on October 30th.

The court heard Britteon of Convamore Road, Grimsby, Lincolnshire was not consenting to a four week remand and he was instead remanded in custody to appear again on October 16th.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times