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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Gangster freed from Dutch prison
Curtis Warren
Police would not confirm if Curtis Warren was returning to Liverpool
One of Merseyside's most notorious criminals, Curtis Warren, has been released from jail in the Netherlands.

He was jailed for 12 years in 1997 for attempting to mastermind a 125m drug smuggling plot from the Netherlands to the UK.

Warren, once labelled Target One by Interpol, received an extra four years in 2001 for kicking an inmate to death.

Police have confirmed that he will be brought back to Britain after serving a sentence for drug trafficking.

Destination unknown

His sentence at the high security Maastricht Prison was extended further in 2005, after he was convicted of involvement of another drugs smuggling plot while behind bars.

In 2004, the High Court had ordered the recovery of more than 3.5m in assets from Warren - who once made the Sunday Times Rich List.

He was estimated to be worth more than 80m.

The plan is for him to be on the first boat home
Keith Dyson, Lawyer

Merseyside Police have been informed by Dutch authorities that Curtis Warren is returning to the UK, but they would not confirm if he is heading back to Liverpool.

His solicitor Keith Dyson confirmed his client had been released and was due to return home.

He told the local press: "There is a little uncertainty over an immigration issue. The plan is for him to be on the first boat home."

Curtis Warren, who was once Britain's number one drug dealer, started his criminal career with small-time cannabis deals on the streets of Toxteth.

Turkish petrol stations

He eventually built a multi-million pound international empire believed to make him one of the country's wealthiest criminal.

He was arrested in 1996 at his luxury home in Sassenheim, in the Netherlands, after millions of pounds of cocaine were discovered at Rotterdam docks.

Warren is said to have owned up to 270 houses in his home town, hotels and petrol stations in Turkey, mansions in Merseyside and Holland and a Bulgarian winery.

He was expected to remain in jail until 2012 but was reportedly released early after winning a court appeal.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Why Curtis Warren was jailed



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