12 years in prison for British cocaine dealer who did business from a Rotterdam café

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12 years in prison for British cocaine dealer who did business from a Rotterdam café

The 37-year-old British criminal Michael Paul Moogan was sentenced in England on Friday to 12 years in prison for large-scale international cocaine trafficking. Moogan was arrested in Dubai in April 2021. In 2013 he narrowly escaped a police raid in a Rotterdam cafe. He was a fugitive for eight years and was one of Britain’s most wanted criminals.

By Roel Janssen / Image: Moogan walks out of café De Ketel)

The drug trafficker from Croxteth, Liverpool, barely managed to escape in October 2013 during a raid in café De Ketel in South Rotterdam. According to the investigative services, that catering business served as a cover for meetings between drug traffickers and intermediaries. Just having a beer in De Ketel was not possible. Customers had to ring the doorbell to enter through a security system and only known criminals were allowed in.

Turkish brothers

According to the police, Moogan did business with, among others, two Turkish brothers from Barendrecht who were sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2016. According to the police, Moogan and two Britons were involved in smuggling hundreds of kilos of cocaine from the Netherlands to England every month. During the investigation, a large number of weapons, 226 kilos of cocaine and more than half a million euros in cash were seized.

Uncle Steven Gerrard

When the police raided the café in Rotterdam, one of the Britons, Robert Hamilton (71) from Hale, Greater Manchester, was arrested. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for drug possession in 2014. The other man, Robert Gerrard (57, photo) from Liverpool, turned himself in to the police after being a fugitive for three years. The uncle of former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard was sentenced to 14 years in prison for drug trafficking in 2017.


According to the National Crime Agency, Moogan and his accomplices were involved in the importation of cocaine from South America to Europe. The drugs were not only shipped to Belgium, but also via road transport stretching from Bulgaria to Latvia and Spain.

Moogan did not have to pay for his cocaine deals in installments – as is usual with large-scale shipments – but would have paid large sums of money through Iraqi nationals based in the United Kingdom. He told criminal contacts that he had smuggled cocaine between meat from Argentina to Britain. He also allegedly bribed port personnel to allow the drugs to pass through unhindered.


Moogan remained in hiding until April 2021 when he was arrested by Dubai police. All the while he used forged IDs to evade arrest. For example, he had a German passport, as well as a driver’s license and identity card under the name Michael Dier, but with his own passport photo on it.

In November last year, he appeared before the Manchester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to importing Class A drugs. On Friday, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison before the same court. Without his guilty plea, that would have been 20 years.

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