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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Drugs baron trial jury sent out
Brian Wright
Brian Wright was well-known in the horseracing world
A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the case of a man accused of running an international drugs empire.

Brian Wright, 60, who lived in Chelsea, west London, is alleged to have masterminded multi-million pound shipments of Class A drugs.

The gang used luxury yachts to import the cocaine from Venezuela, via the Caribbean, to the UK, a court heard.

Prosecutors claimed Mr Wright used horseracing as a "facade" to disguise the real source of his wealth.

One of the gang's yachts, the Sea Mist, was allegedly discovered carrying almost 600kg of cocaine as it arrived in Cork, Ireland.

Mr Wright, originally from Ireland, fled to Northern Cyprus in 1999, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

He was arrested in 2005 when he went to Spain.

Mr Wright is charged with conspiracy to evade prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug and conspiracy to supply drugs.

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