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Vancouver man shocked after raiding his old luxury yacht finds $ 280 million in cocaine

Vancouver man shocked after raiding his old luxury yacht finds $ 280 million in cocaine

‘It would probably have been a sensible vessel to use in some way,’ he said. “It was a good practical vessel, and it flies a little under the radar.”

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When police stormed a luxury yacht off the coast of England and seized two tonnes of cocaine, the site of British officers unpacking the huge stash unleashed surprise memories for a Vancouver man.

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Officers put the $ 280 million caches on his old couch.

On board his old yacht.

Peter White-Robinson watched the news in Vancouver in amazement, while his family and friends abroad sent him messages joking about what on earth he was doing.

“It was a huge part of our lives, that boat,” he said of the 37-meter-long yacht that made headlines in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The police raid is an unexpected chapter in the ship’s great life — it was once a warship — and in the life of White-Robinson, 73, who happened to be living in Canada because of that yacht and whose passion for adventure inadvertently paved the way for the anesthetists to to move such an enormous load across the Atlantic.

First police attack.

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Two British border force vessels guarded the hidden Kahu, a luxury Jamaican flag that sailed from the Caribbean as it entered the English Channel. British authorities had been tipped off by Australian police, who were told of the action in a stabbing operation earlier this year.

I think they thought they would get away with it.

On Thursday, police intercepted and boarded Kahu while still in international waters, about 80 miles off the south-west coast of England.

Six men – a British citizen and five from Nicaragua – were arrested and Kahu was escorted to a British port where a team conducted “a deep search,” the National Crime Agency said.

Within row after row of black, waterproof duffel bags, police discovered tightly wrapped bricks of cocaine weighing more than 2,000 kilos.

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Police released photos of the seizure over the weekend when the raid was announced. In the photos, the interior of the Kahu has hardly changed since White-Robinson sold it under duress in Vancouver in 2013.

While living in his native New Zealand, White-Robinson was a thoroughbred businessman as well as an engineer.

He dreamed big and acted after them. He owned three companies, including Fitzroy Yachts, a construction company with superyachts. White-Robinson loved to sail, and his yachting business was a love affair.

He also had dreams for his family.

Peter and Susan White-Robinson aboard Kahu, their former luxury yacht, which was attacked by British police.
Peter and Susan White-Robinson aboard Kahu, their former luxury yacht, which was attacked by British police. Photo by Peter White-Robinson

He wanted to buy or build his own superyacht and take his family on an adventure of a lifetime, and sail around the world.

When the New Zealand Navy was dismantling a patrol boat, White-Robinson bought it and turned it into something special. He extended it by 10 meters, rebuilt, rebuilt and recycled the vessel for a family adventure yacht. He increased its power and range as well as comfort.

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While designing the infrastructure, his wife, Sharon, designed the interior and created impressive entertainment, cooking, sleeping and dining areas as well as a classroom for their two young sons at the age of 12 and 13.

In 2012, the White-Robinson family took family friends on their planned two-and-a-half-year trip with a crew of a schoolteacher, chef, captain and engineer.

They worked across the Pacific and visited many southern Pacific islands. They then moored in Hawaii for a few months and then pushed on to the west coast of Canada.

They landed on Vancouver Island a year after leaving Auckland.

“It was a remarkable adventure,” he said.

“While it lasted.”

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It was shortened in Vancouver. Upon arrival, he learned that his yacht construction was facing a financial crisis. To keep his workers busy, he made a deal with the buyer of a superyacht he was in the middle of building, handing over the entire business to him.

British police say they found more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine pressed into the brick and tightly wrapped.
British police say they found more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine pressed into the brick and tightly wrapped. Photo by Handout / National Crime Agency / AFP via Getty Images

His company’s assets included Kahu.

“We stopped the adventure there, really. We came ashore and walked away from it all, ”he said.

“Canada should just be a stop during the trip. But I had a family that loves to ski, so it was pretty attractive for them to end up in this place. ”

He got a job as a director at a Canadian engineering firm, and the family reckoned they would stay a bit. Then Sharon became ill. Her aggressive cancer erased all plans to return home. She died in November.

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“The boys are pretty committed to Canada. We’re pretty much a Canadian family now. “One son is planning to join the RCMP and another is in engineering at the university.

It was hard to let go of Kahu at the time, he said.

“It was a huge part of our lives.”

He does not know what happened to the ship after he sold it. He knew the man, he turned it over to resell it, and at one point it was offered for charter in Fort Lauderdale.

“I didn’t really follow it too much because it just hurt to get too close to it, so I just let things happen.”

Online sales list shows it for sale for US $ 1,795,000 in 2018 while moored in Florida. The U.S. sales agent did not respond to a request for information about the ship.

The new look Kahu moored on the English coast after being seized by police.
The new look Kahu moored on the English coast after being seized by police. Photo by Handout / National Crime Agency / AFP via Getty Images

Seeing pictures of Kahu again was fascinating, White-Robinson said. The interior looks the same, his wife’s decor stands the test of time. The exterior was painted. His green was replaced by blue, which he said looks good.

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“But it was strange to look at the boat and see her again in such circumstances. I miss her that way. ”

It was confusing to see the throng of police and filled with cocaine, but he understood why the anesthetists could try it.

“It would probably have been a sensible vessel to use in some way,” he said. “It was a good practical vessel, and it flies a little under the radar – it was a nice vessel, but not a big, big superyacht. I think they did it because it was reasonably discreet. ”

While British newspapers were saddened by an expensive luxury yacht used in such a way, White-Robinson looked at the numbers — a $ 2 million ship is a genus if it closes a $ 280 million drug deal.

“It seemed to me that someone had either made some really shady deals somewhere or had bought the boat with this in mind,” he said.

“I think they thought they would get away with it. But they did not. ”

The British government is likely to sell Kahu – if it is confiscated as criminal proceeds – and he briefly pondered buying it again.

“But I am not able to do that today. No, it’s gone now. Someone will pick it up at a good price.

“Life goes on. I’m cycling around now instead of sailing around. It’s a new life.”

Recycled, just like Kahu.

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