The Attorney General v Nicholas Maxwell Thurban

JurisdictionJersey
CourtRoyal Court
JudgeJ. A. Clyde-Smith O.B.E.,Jurats Thomas,Christensen,Dulake
Judgment Date14 October 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] JRC 212
Date14 October 2020

[2020] JRC 212

ROYAL COURT

(Samedi)

Before:

J. A. Clyde-Smith O.B.E., Commissioner, and Jurats Thomas, Christensen and Dulake.

The Attorney General
and
Nicholas Maxwell Thurban
Colin Russel Sait
Paul Dennis Brown
Daniel Niall Riley
John Alexander Roy
Deborah Karen Wolff
Jon Adam Hughes

M. R. Maletroit Esq., Crown Advocate.

Advocate M. L. Preston for Defendant Thurban

Advocate A. E. Binnie for Defendant Sait

Advocate C. B. Austin for Defendant Brown.

Advocate S. E. A. Dale for Defendant Riley

Advocate M. J. Haines for Defendant Roy.

Advocate F. J. Littler for Defendant Wolff.

Advocate H. Sharp for Defendant Hughes

Authorities

AG v Thurban Sait Brown Riley Roy Wolff Hughes [2020] JRC 191A

Rimmer v AG [2001] JLR 373.

Valler v AG [2002] JLR 383.

AG v Wootton [2003] JRC 034.

AG v Barratt [2017] JRC 046.

Carter v AG 1994/192.

Campbell v AG [1995] JLR 136.

Cairns [2013] EWCA Crim 467.

AG v Smitton, Banach and Reeves [2019] JRC 099.

AG v Miah [2004] JRC 048.

AG v O'Connor et al [2019] JRC 093A

Bonnar v AG [2001] JLR 626.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Jersey) Law 2005

Cybercrime (Jersey) Law 2019

AG v Fish and Hinds [2016] JRC 181A.

AG v Brennan [2016] JRC 234.

AG v Whelan, Grace and Robinson [2017] JRC 040B.

AG v Rae and Spinola [2017] JRC 080.

Rae v AG [2017] JCA 197.

AG v Goodwin [2016] JRC 165.

AG v Cooney [2019] JRC 039A.

Superior Number Sentencing — Drugs — importation — supply — Class A and Class B — proceeds of crime — reasons for sentence

THE COMMISSIONER:
1

On 23 rd September 2020, the Court sentenced the Defendants to varying terms of imprisonment ( AG v Thurban Sait Brown Riley Roy Wolff Hughes [2020] JRC 191A) and we now give our reasons.

2

The central charges concern a conspiracy between the Defendants Roy, Hughes, Thurban, Sait, Brown and Riley, to import illegal drugs into the island on 21 st June 2019. There are associated money laundering charges in respect of the Defendants Riley, Roy, Hughes and Wolff, possession charges in respect of Thurban and Riley and a charge of failing to disclose the access key to his mobile phone in respect of Riley.

3

At the relevant time Roy, Thurban, Sait, Brown, and Wolff were residing in England and Hughes and Riley in Jersey. The importation took place on 21 st June 2019, using a yacht chartered from Hamble Point Marina. Unbeknownst to the Defendants, they were under surveillance in what Crown Advocate Maletroit described as the most complex drug related investigation ever undertaken by the Jersey authorities. The drugs were seized shortly after being brought into the Island and comprised:

  • (i) 5,113 MDMA tablets with a wholesale value in Jersey of between £20,000 and £30,000 and a street value of between £76,000 and £127,000.

  • (ii) Approximately 2 kilograms of MDMA powder with a wholesale value in Jersey of between £84,000 and £112,000 and a street value of between £158,000 to £198,000. The MDMA powder had a purity of 80%.

  • (iii) 1 kilogram of cocaine with a wholesale value in Jersey of between £56,000 and £70,000 and a street value of between £116,000 and £145,000. It was of high purity (71%) and if adulterated to produce 4 – 5 kilograms it would have a wholesale value of between £168,000 and £280,000 and a street value of between £320,000 and £500,000.

  • (iv) 49 100 gram bars of cannabis resin with an actual weight of 4,680 grams, with a wholesale value in Jersey of between £39,000 and £58,000 and a street value of between £70,000 and £94,000.

Crown's submissions on the Defendants' role and involvement in the conspiracy
Hughes
4

In the view of the Crown, Hughes played the lead role out of the Defendants before the Court, although it did not consider him to be at the top of the chain. It considered that Scott Felix Jones, who is named in the indictment but who is currently in custody in Australia, was higher up the chain and provided Hughes with instructions.

5

Hughes was in contact with all of the key players. His role included making arrangements for the onward distribution of the drugs following the importation and the collection and laundering of cash that was needed to fund the enterprise. He removed some of the cash himself and recruited Wolff to do the same. He was also involved in the handovers of unknown sums of cash to a person known for present purposes as “the jeweller”, which enabled criminal property to be removed from the jurisdiction by other means. Hughes stated that he received financial reward for his role in the money laundering offences. He accepted that some of the laundered cash was used to purchase the drugs imported on 21 st June 2019.

6

Hughes was also involved in arranging the importation itself. He had attempted to source a suitable vessel in Jersey but was unable to do so. On 18 th June 2019, Hughes travelled to Southampton where he met with Roy and they attended at Hamble Point Marina to arrange the charter of the yacht. On the morning of 19 th June 2019, Hughes travelled to Hamble Point Marina with Roy, Sait and Thurban. Hughes and Roy sailed the yacht from Hamble Point Marina to Lymington before it was handed over to Thurban and Sait. Hughes is seen on CCTV in possession of a mobile phone which appears to have been handed to Brown later that day (although it has not been established who actually handed the device to Brown). Hughes then travelled to Jersey where he met with Brown on the evening prior to the importation in furtherance of the conspiracy.

7

Hughes had made arrangements for the onward supply of drugs, having offered to supply the cannabis and MDMA tablets to Riley.

Thurban
8

The Crown considered that Thurban joined the conspiracy well in advance of the June importation. The Crown had regard to the significant volume of telephone contact between Thurban and Hughes in the period between 20 th March, 2019, and 21 st June, 2019. The Crown also noted that Hughes was in contact with Thurban on 13 th June, 2019, and appears to have been the “friend” that Hughes wished to speak with in relation to the proposed purchase of a RIB. This evidence suggests that Thurban had some involvement in arranging the importation. The Crown also noted Thurban's comment to the Probation Officer that he had been receiving a weekly allowance to play his part in the criminal enterprise, which he used to support himself until his arrest, which further suggests involvement prior to the importation itself.

9

Thurban played a key role in transporting the drugs to the Island, which was an important objective of the conspiracy (and an essential step to facilitate supply). Over the course of two days, Thurban sailed the yacht from Lymington to Brixham and then to Jersey. The AIS system was turned off as the vessel approached the Island.

10

The 8 MDMA pills found in his possession were from the same batch as the main consignment (despite his denial of this in interview) which suggested a higher level of knowledge and involvement. In the Crown's view, a mere courier would not normally have such a level of control over the drugs to allow to himself a personal quantity.

Roy
11

Roy was involved in organising the importation. He played a key role in securing the vessel to be used, knowing that it was to be used to move controlled drugs. Roy used his sailing qualifications to secure the charter, which he paid for using £1,500 of the £3,000 that was transferred to him on 18 th June 2019. Roy provided false details on the charter booking form. He sailed the vessel from Hamble Point Marina to Lymington where it was handed over to Thurban and Sait. Roy attended at Brixham Harbour on 20 th June, 2019 to show his sailing certificate in order that the vessel could stay there overnight.

12

In addition to his direct involvement in the importation Roy made a trip to Jersey at the beginning of April 2019 the sole purpose of which appears to have been the collection of tainted cash and the removal of that cash (£6,000 on his account) from the jurisdiction (Count 17).

Sait
13

Sait also played a key role in transporting the drugs to the island. He was on board the yacht as it travelled from Lymington to Brixham and then to Jersey. Sait brought the drugs ashore at Bel Val Bay and handed them to Brown who was waiting on the beach. In exchange for the drugs, Sait was given a bag containing cash which he took to the yacht before the vessel was intercepted by customs officers.

Brown
14

Brown was the shore party on 21 st June, 20120. He was handed a mobile phone in the UK on 19 th June 2019. He travelled to Jersey the following day and met with Hughes at a restaurant where they discussed the importation. Brown prepared for the importation by purchasing various items from Black's retail store. He was at some point handed a large sum of cash. On the day of the importation, his role was to exchange the cash for the drugs that were brought ashore by Sait. Brown appears to have realised he was under surveillance and discarded the rucksacks containing the drugs and attempted to leave the area, but he was stopped and arrested.

Riley
15

Riley joined the conspiracy well in advance of the June importation. There is evidence of his communication with Hughes, but no evidence of him communicating directly with any of the other Defendants. On 30 th April 2019, Riley handed Hughes a rucksack containing criminal property (£2,500 on his account) which was connected to the future supply of drugs (Count 13). Riley admits meeting with Hughes on other occasions and accepts that they discussed the supply of drugs. Riley agreed to take possession of the MDMA tablets and cannabis resin to sell on. He made arrangements for the onward supply of these drugs prior to the importation. The covertly recorded conversations give an insight into the level of involvement that Riley had in drug dealing. The conversations evidence him lining up customers, discussing the prices...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • The Attorney General v Andrew John Bennett
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 21 October 2021
    ...AG v Gillespie [2015] JRC 115. AG v Ennis [2018] JRC 117. AG v Sheppard [2020] JRC 075. AG v Mkatapa [2020] JRC 037. AG v Thurban et al [2020] JRC 212. Superior Number Sentencing — drugs — importation — Class A — failure to disclose pass keys Sentencing by the Superior Number of the Royal C......
  • The Attorney General v Darius James Pearce
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 4 August 2021
    ...I. C. Jones attended to assist the Court). Authorities AG v Pearce [2021] JRC 182. AG v Thurban Sait Brown Riles Roy Wolff Hughes [2020] JRC 212. AG v Goodwin [2016] JRC 165. AG v Fish and Hinds [2016] JRC 181A. AG v Michel [2007] JRC 120. AG v Bojwani [2010] JRC 116. AG v Rae and Spinola [......
  • Nicolas Maxwell Thurban v The Attorney General
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 26 March 2021
    ...Respondent. Authorities AG v Thurban Sait Brown Riley Roy Wolff Hughes [2020] JRC 191A. AG v Thurban Sait Brown Riley Roy Wolff Hughes [2020] JRC 212. Rimmer, Lusk and Bade v AG [2001] JLR 373. Valler v AG [2002] JLR 383. Styles v AG [2006] JLR 210. Campbell v AG [1995] JLR 136. Rae v AG [2......
  • The Attorney General v Anthony Andrew Dryden
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 5 January 2022
    ...AG v Czarnecki [2020] JRC177. AG v Thurban & ors [2020] JRC191A. AG v Hagin [2020] JRC176. AG v Hagin [2020] JRC157. AG v Thurban & ors [2020] JRC212. AG v Safapour [2019] JRC239. AG v O'Connor et al [2019] RC093A. AG v Roslan, Whitecombe and Lagadu [2015] JRC030A. AG v Dryden [2014] JRC172......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT