Princes visited drugs accused’s restaurant

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A man accused of being involved in a multi-million pound plot to smuggle cocaine into South Yorkshire told a jury a restaurant he ran with his co-accused was visited by Princes William and Harry.

Frank Barbar said he went into business with Marco Russo in 2009 who was owner of Il Giardino restaurant in Chelsea, London.

Giving evidence in his defence at Sheffield Crown Court, Barbar said he was a customer and bought into the business.

He admitted he enjoyed the glamour of being a restaurateur.

During cross examination, Russo’s barrister Martin McCarthy said: “It attracted a particular type of clientele, a rather glamorous set?”

Barbar replied: “Yes, Prince Harry and Prince William visited, the Home Secretary and lots of football stars.”

Barbar, aged 47, of Richmond, Surrey, previously told jurors he bought his sports equipment firm from ex-tennis star Pat Cash.

Asked if he was using the business as a cover to import Class A drugs, Barbar said: “Absolute nonsense.”

Barbar, Russo, 41, from London, and Richard Norman Stead, 45, of Greenfoot Lane, Wilthorpe, Barnsley, deny the allegations.

The trial continues.