Crew members from crewing agency arrested and charged with importing drugs
A professional skipper and three crew, who were arrested on suspicion of importing cocaine into Gibraltar, have been denied bail and could face jail sentences on the rock if found guilty of the charges in court.
Skipper Jonathan Kelway, 57, made arrangements via a Hampshire crewing agency for three other crew to fly to St Lucia to help deliver a 50ft Beneteau Gin to Gibraltar, where the yacht is registered. However, on delivery, after an initial routine inspection, Gibraltar Customs officers returned to the yacht and found 216kg of cocaine hidden in specially-designed sealed compartments in the stern of the yacht.
The crew, 51-year-old retired banker Trevor Collenette from Jersey, Martin Genoccio and his partner Kathryn Burman, both in their late 20s have all protested their innocence and in their first court appearance on 12 June, the skipper Mr Kelway stated: ‘We are innocent parties in this.’
Friends of Trevor Collenette have started a website and organised a public demonstration proclaiming his innocence, while friends of Martin and Kathryn started a thread on a London media forum (see links below). The skipper has been defended by Crewseekers on the company’s website.
If found guilty of possession and importing cocaine into Gibraltar, all four could face long prison sentences.