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Sunday Mail Opinion: Grab evil drug duo's fortunes.

CUSTOMS crime-busters would have breathed a small sigh of relief as the jail doors slammed on cocaine barons Brian Doran and Kenneth Togher once again.

But they should not feel any sense of satisfaction.

The men behind some of the biggest consignments of cocaine ever to reach British shores deserve nothing more than years behind bars.

Their arrest after a massive and long-running operation was one of the biggest ever swoops by Customs.

Their 25-year sentences were some of the longest handed down.

It was a dream bust for Customs. What followed was their worst nightmare.

It was not their fault the judge misdirected the jury but it was their incompetence and gung-ho surveillance that led to their bugs being ruled unauthorised and illegal.

They were so keen to catch the Mr Bigs, they broke the law themselves.

An inquiry led to wholesale changes in how the biggest crimelords are investigated and new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the sorry saga surrounding Doran and Togher.

The cost of the trials, appeals and fiasco that followed left taxpayers with a pounds 20million bill and a deepening dread that more drug barons would go free because investigators went too far.

It is some kind of justice that Doran and Togher will be having porridge for breakfast this morning.

If they walk free on parole in two years, they should walk out of jail to poverty.

Every effort must be taken to find their fortune and confiscate it.

The one thing that will keep them going inside jail is the good life that awaits them.

That must not be allowed to happen. They should walk to freedom with only the money they have in their pockets - nothing more.

Customs officers must strip these gangsters of their dirty fortune.

And make sure every drug smuggler knows once and for all that crime will not pay
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 21, 2005
Words:312
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