Cocaine kingpin who ran £1bn smuggling empire is found dead in cell

A drug lord who smuggled up to £1billion of cocaine into the UK has been found dead in his cell seven years into his 25 year sentence.

Johnny Gerrard Kock, 75, had been jailed for using a fake pond-liner enterprise to import up to 6,000kg of cocaine from the continent to Liverpool.

He was found dead in his cell at HMP Berwyn in Wales on August 16 2021 an inquest has now set out.

READ MORE: Drug dealer linked to £10million criminal empire brought down by Deliveroo bag

Dutch native Kock was living in a semi-detached house in Liverpool at the time of his arrest, having previously escaped prosecution in both 1992 and in 1994.

Kock’s cocaine operation was busted in 2013 – and he also later admitted to importing cannabis, the ECHO reports.

Washing powder containing 23kg of cocaine, destined for an address in Kirkby, was found by French customs officers. German officers were also tipped off to a 103kg haul.

Kock was jailed for 25 years in October 2014 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to evade the prohibition of class A drugs.

Judge Mark Brown said at the time: “In terms of the amounts of cocaine, this must be one of the biggest ever offences considered by the courts."

The inquest at Ruthin County Hall in Wales on May 25 heard that the 75-year-old’s body was found in isolation by two prison officers.

Rigor mortis had already set in and a Home Office post-mortem concluded the cause of death was heart failure arising from natural causes.

Kock had refused a covid vaccination and treatment for longstanding cardiac condition, the inquest heard.

And although Kock tested positive for covid at the time of his death, Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers said that this was not a factor in his death.

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The inquest heard that Kock, who had refused a Covid vaccination along with treatment for his longstanding cardiac issues during his time in prison, had tested positive for Covid-19 but it wasn't a factor in his death.

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