Fulham Man Suspected of Smuggling "Vast Quantities" of Drugs Arrested in Athens

Handley sought since seizure of two million pounds and 50 kilos of drugs in November

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A 50-year-old man from Fulham suspected of masterminding a plot to supply vast quantities of cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine was arrested in Greece at a bar near Athens that he had visited to watch rugby.

Kevin Handley has been sought by police since last November when they seized 20 kilos of cocaine, 15 kilos of cannabis, 15 kilos of amphetamine and £2.1 million in cash at an address in Fulham.

Kevin Hanley, from Fulham, was captured at the Molly Malone's Irish bar in the coastal suburb of Glyfada just before the start of Saturday's tour decider between the British & Irish Lions and Australia on Saturday July 6.

Officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency, or SOCA travelled to Athens to work alongside the Greek Police in the hunt for Hanley.

Hanley and a 44-year-old Greek woman Chryssi Minadaki, who was also living in Fulham at the time of the police raid, were both arrested on European Arrest Warrants and extradition proceedings are now underway.

They will be charged with conspiracies to supply drugs and money laundering when they return to the UK.

Brendan Foreman, Regional Head of Investigations at SOCA, said: " These arrests were made as a direct result of close cooperation with the Greek authorities. Operations like this demonstrate that SOCA and its partners will stop at nothing to track down those suspected of drug trafficking."

Hanley had previously been jailed for drug possession in Britain after police found 29kg of cocaine in his car in 1998.

This time, Greek police said Hanley had taken "extensive precautions" to try and avoid arrest, with "frequent changes of address, telephones and cars" – using several dual SIM cell phones and coded text messages.

As part of the SOCA investigation in the UK, officers had previously arrested four men and one woman who were subsequently charged with drug and money laundering offences.


July 10, 2013