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Father of international showjumper Jody Van Gerwen must repay £200k after smuggling cocaine in horsebox

The father of an international showjumper has been ordered to repay more than £200,000 - the proceeds of his drug dealing.

Mari Van Gerwen, 54, was convicted of sneaking £4m worth of cocaine into Dover hidden in a horsebox.

Drug smuggler Marinus Van Gerwen
Drug smuggler Marinus Van Gerwen

He was found guilty two years ago after a trial at Canterbury Crown Court when his daughter Jody Van Gerwen broke down and wept after the jury returned its verdict.

A judge then jailed him for 17 years after telling Van Gerwen he believed some of the money would have been used to fund unsuspecting Jody's successful jumping career.

Van Gerwen - from Mechelen in Holland - had faced a similar charge at Reading Crown Court 18 months earlier, but had been acquitted.

The horse dealer - who has his own stables and training centre - had claimed he had been forced under duress to smuggle cocaine into the UK.

Now after an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act a judge was told the horse dealer had pocketed £217, 296 from his smuggling.

The horsebox Mari Van Gerwen used to illegally smuggle the drugs into the UK. Picture: NCA
The horsebox Mari Van Gerwen used to illegally smuggle the drugs into the UK. Picture: NCA

An investigation into his assets amounted to £202,644.08p.

Judge Rupert Lowe has now ruled he should pay the money within 28 days - or face another two years inside.

In July 2017, Van Gerwen arrived at the freight lanes at Dover Eastern Docks with two horses in a horsebox.

Border Force officials quizzed him and he told them the horses were not for jumping or racing and that he was heading to Bracknell with 5,000 euros in his pockets.

The court heard how officers were suspicious and began searching a special compartment where they discovered 50 kilos of the Class A drug.

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Read more: All the latest news from Dover


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