Jamaican drug dealer fights for property in UK courts

Convicted Jamaican drug dealer Owen Clarke has won permission to challenge the UK's attempt to strip him of his assets.

Clarke, 50, popularly known as ‘Father Fowl' was the leader of an international drug ring for many years.

Clarke's hold on the international illegal drug market spanned at least five countries.

In June 2004 he was found guilty in a London court for producing, supplying and possessing crack cocaine.

He was sentenced to 13 years which was later slashed to 11 after he made an appeal.

In September 2006 he was slapped with a confiscation order with a threat of four more years in jail if he did not pay up.

The courts heard Clarke say he made his fortune as a music promoter but never kept accounts, paid taxes or opened a bank account.

He led such an elaborate lifestyle that he boastfully burned 50 pound notes, drove a super charged Mercedes motor vehicle and owned a string of properties in Britain and the Caribbean.

In Jamaica Clarke drove a Jaguar XKA convertible with the personal license plate ‘007'.

The diamond encrusted crucifix he wore around his neck was worth 10,000 pounds.

The judge at the confiscation order had ruled that he made 578,403 pounds from his crimes of which just 288,782 pounds was recovered.

However last week at the Criminal Appeal Court his lawyers argued that part of the ruling should be overturned as there was no evidence to suggest he owned a house in Jamaica or a valuable Volvo car.

The judge agreed Clarke did not own the car after they considered evidence from its new owner to say he had not transferred the relevant documents at the time of Clarke's arrest.

Permission to appeal against that part of the judge's findings on the confiscation order was therefore granted. A date for clarke's hearing has not yet been set.











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