Retrial for man accused of drug boat conspiracy

A man accused of continuing a Lowestoft couple's business supplying boats to drug smugglers after they were arrested, is to face a retrial.

A man accused of continuing a Lowestoft couple's business supplying boats to drug smugglers after they were arrested, is to face a retrial.

Ian Rush is accused of continuing the illegal work of Lowestoft boatbuilding company Crompton Marine, manufacturing and delivering high-speed rigid inflatable boats to criminals smuggling drugs between North Africa and southern Spain.

It is alleged Rush started a new company, using the same suppliers and customers as Crompton Marine, after owners Ellen George and Neil Davison were arrested by customs.

Rush, 42, of Brand End Road, Butterworth in Lincolnshire, denies a charge of conspiracy to acquire criminal property.

Today, after a three-week trial at Ipswich Crown Court, the jury failed to reach a verdict and was discharged.

Davison and George were arrested in 2004 after a joint investigation by British and Spanish customs and excise officers. Officers searching the home the couple shared in Colville Road, Lowestoft, discovered £1.2m hidden around the premises.

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A further e1m and £39,000 in cash were uncovered during a search of the home in which Davison had been living near Malaga in southern Spain.

For the money found in her home, George pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property and money laundering at an earlier hearing at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court.

Davison remains on bail in Spain facing drug-smuggling charges.