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Ferry drug smuggle case: Accused 'lied to save his skin'

Mark Quilliam, Edward Tron, Susan Tron Image copyright Hull News & Pictures
Image caption Mark Quilliam (L), Edward Tron and Susan Tron all deny the charges against them

A P&O ship steward charged with conspiring to import cocaine into Hull on a ferry has been accused of lying to try to "save his own skin".

Edward Tron, 51, of Carr Hill Road, Gateshead, claims stories about drug smuggling he told an undercover police officer were fabricated.

At Hull Crown Court, the prosecution alleged Mr Tron was attempting to "hide the position" he was in.

Mark Quilliam, 55, of Gladica Close, Liverpool, faces the same charges.

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Mr Tron's wife Susan, 54, also of Carr Hill Road, is accused of money laundering, with all three denying the charges against them.

The court previously heard Mr Quilliam and Mr Tron used their positions as P&O ferry crew to smuggle cocaine into Hull from Rotterdam on the Pride of Hull vessel.

It is claimed they made up to £60,000 a trip.

'Skilful liar'

Mr Tron, who told police he had made £100,000 from gambling, told the court his gambling started to "hit lucky for four years" before his luck ran out.

"I thought I was invincible at one time", he said, but "before I knew it - I had nothing."

During cross-examination, Mr Tron denied being a "very skilful and adept liar", but said: "I can lie when I need to."

During a National Crime Agency undercover operation, an officer was placed on the ferry and recorded conversations.

Prosecuting barrister Paul Mitchell accused Mr Tron of telling the truth to the undercover officer and "lying today because it's the only way you can save your skin".

Mr Tron claimed he had suspicions about the undercover police officer "within a few days", but played along by making up stories.

The trial continues.

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