Ibiza drug smuggler caught in Portsmouth with four kilos of 'almost full purity' cocaine

A DRUG smuggler caught with four kilos of ‘almost full purity’ cocaine into the city’s port is facing a long jail sentence.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 3:00 pm

Border Force intercepted Christopher Gillies as he arrived in Portsmouth driving his own car fitted with two secret compartments in a ‘sophisticated’ operation.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 38-year-old claimed he ‘didn’t realise there was four kilos of it’ but has now admitted importing the class A drug.

Prosecutor Tom Wright said: ‘It seems that Mr Gillies is admitting a significant part of importing four kilos of almost full purity cocaine.

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Portsmouth International Port. Picture : Habibur Rahman

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‘It was quite a sophisticated set-up in the car. The car was registered to him, there were two secret compartments.’

Gillies, who mostly lives in Ibiza, has refused to hand over a PIN for one of his phones and has not told police where he lives in Britain.

One of Gillies’ phones has been examined by National Crime Agency investigators and it shows ‘evidence of drug dealing... in the Ibiza area,’ Mr Wright said.

Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

He has a previous conviction for possessing ecstasy with intent to supply in the Isle of Man in 2003, the court heard.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, said: ‘He was not part of the process of putting the drugs into the car. He was aware it was cocaine. He was aware he was bringing across class A drugs.’

Gillies claimed he had a ‘significant’ cocaine debt over a ‘significant period of time’ owed to the people who asked him to smuggle the drug on November 25, 2019.

Mr Reilly added: ‘He says with the benefit of hindsight, he could see they were happy to let the debt reach a level where it was wholly unrealistic for him to pay the debt off in any other way than the position that they put him in.

‘He also says that “I would not have done this had I not genuinely believed the threats” that were being made to him.

‘He says that he was in fear and they were serious individuals who where being serious with him when they were asking him to perform this function in order to clear this debt.’

Mr Wright added: ‘This is a case in its infancy. It’s clear that there would have been other parties involved.’

Refusing bail, judge Timothy Mousley QC adjourned the case for sentencing on January 17.