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Summer sentencing for money laundering jeweller

Summer sentencing for money laundering jeweller

Sunday 21 March 2021

Summer sentencing for money laundering jeweller

Sunday 21 March 2021

A jeweller found guilty of laundering money that funded an audacious drug smuggling attempt will be sentenced in July.

Darius Pearce appeared via video-link from HMP La Moye on Friday to attend a short hearing to confirm the sentencing date. He had been due to be sentenced on 10 March, but this was delayed in order for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

The Court heard that this report should be ready by the end of May, and agreed to a new sentencing date of 5 July.

Pearce (49) was found guilty in December at the end of a week-long trial. The Central Market trader – whose shop has now been shut down – received cash from members of a criminal gang on three occasions in 2019.

He then bought gold with the cash from London bullion dealers, which was then quickly transferred back to cash.   

The money was used to fund an attempt by smugglers to land cocaine, MDMA and cannabis into Jersey using a chartered yacht that sailed from the UK and anchored near St Catherine in July 2019.

But Police and Customs Officers had been tracking their movements for months and swept down on the gang as they brought the drugs ashore. Six men and one woman were jailed for a total of just under 74 years by the Royal Court last September. 

The investigation - called Operation Lion - was described as one of the most complex ever undertaken by authorities in Jersey.

Pearce was arrested a day after the plot was foiled but, unlike the others, maintained his innocence.

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