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Blum says his son has been `duped' over drugs haul.

Byline: GRAHAM GREEN

FORMER trainer Gerry Blum yesterday insisted his son Martin, the Newmarket horsebox operator arrested by Spanish drug-squad police three weeks ago, has been "duped" and that "his innocence will be proved in the long run".

Blum jnr, 38, has been behind bars since the reported seizure of 60 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated street value of pounds 4 million, when his vehicle was searched on July 4.

The same day, convicted drug smuggler Anthony White, 59, from London, was detained at Madrid's Barajas airport

as part of the same police

operation.

Blum, who is married and lives in Tuddenham, outside Newmarket, is still in a state of shock at finding himself in prison, although his wife Ann has remained in Spain since last weekend and he is also

receiving support from British Consular officials.

Speaking for the first time about the plight of his son, Blum said: "Martin comes from a respectable racing family. He has built up his business on his own initiative and is well respected and liked by his customers. He is hard working and honest and obviously he has been duped. His innocence will be proved in the long run."

Until now the Blum family have referred press inquiries to the Foreign Office, but following the publicity generated by the case they decided to release a statement.

It read: "The Blum family are extremely distressed by the news of Martin's recent arrest in Spain. Spanish lawyers have been instructed, but at this stage the family are still unaware of the exact charges made against him. They are a close family and have visited him in Spain, and will continue to support him totally during this difficult time.

"It has been reported in some sections of the press that Martin Blum has been involved in drug smuggling. Martin has made no statements to the press at all, but has spoken to his family and totally

refutes these allegations.

"Martin was unaware that cocaine may have been placed in his horsebox. Martin does not know Anthony White and only met him for the first time while he was in custody. The two men were arrested at

different times and in different places."

The statement concluded: "The family will make a more detailed statement at a later stage when the position becomes more clear. At the present time they would ask that their privacy be respected and that they now be left alone."

Blum was heading through Spain on his way to the French Alps to collect a consignment of horses bound for Welwyn Garden City when his horsebox was stopped by police.

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Gerry Blum "His innocence will be proved"
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 24, 2003
Words:447
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