Orpington businessman Chris Tappin finally home after extradition ordeal

Chris Tappin

Chris Tappin

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

The Orpington businessman extradited to the United States for arms dealing is finally home after serving jail time overseas and in the UK.

Christopher Tappin, 67, of Larch Dene, has been released from a London prison after he was transferred from the US in September last year.

In November 2012 he was given a 33-month sentence and ordered to pay a fine of $11,357 at a federal court in Texas, after pleading guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the illegal export of defence articles.

Daughter Georgina Raeburn confirmed her father is home but was not ready to talk about the situation in detail.

While in the US Mr Tappin was in a Pennsylvanian prison and before being flown back to England was incarcerated in a New York detention centre which was "teeming with rats", according to his lawyer.

In his only interview, in a national newspaper, since being freed, he described a harrowing ordeal involving being confined to a windowless room in solitary confinement.

A former director of an international freight service and president of Kent Golf Society, the family man maintains his innocence.

Mr Tappin believes evidence may have been doctored and he had no choice but to enter a plea bargain with US prosecutors. 

Between December 2005 and January 2007 it is believed he knowingly aided and abetted others in an illegal attempt to export certain batteries which are special components of the Hawk Air Defence Missile.

But the businessman previously denied wrongdoing and said the shipment, set from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands, was part of an FBI sting.

Now home with his wife, Elaine, he is hoping to fight the 2003 extradition legislation that meant UK courts had no power to prevent him being sent to US shores.

It was brought in to help the countries move terrorist suspects more easily but is now often used for those charged with crimes unrelated to terrorism.

Mr Tappin handed himself into US Marshalls at Heathrow in September 2012 and since then had been unable to return home to visit his family.

Comments (5)

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5:29pm Tue 17 Jun 14

mouthalmighty says...

Shame on the law. You can big up Tappin as much as you like, but what he did was disgusting. Innocent people are being killed as a result of his actions. Shame on him, and all those associated with him because you all benefitted from his rewards.
Shame on the law. You can big up Tappin as much as you like, but what he did was disgusting. Innocent people are being killed as a result of his actions. Shame on him, and all those associated with him because you all benefitted from his rewards. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 12

8:30pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Gypo.Joe says...

I hope this jumped up stuffed shirt moves out of my manor. We don't like jail birds in our hood.

Gercha Tappin, just clear off boi.
I hope this jumped up stuffed shirt moves out of my manor. We don't like jail birds in our hood. Gercha Tappin, just clear off boi. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -7

5:43am Wed 18 Jun 14

Petras says...

Why is this a story. He is a lying no good scumbag and needs booting out of this manor fast together with his wife who is no better. If he still claims he is innocent why did the moron plead guilty? Just another lie I guess. Frankly for the damage he caused he deserves the death penalty.
Why is this a story. He is a lying no good scumbag and needs booting out of this manor fast together with his wife who is no better. If he still claims he is innocent why did the moron plead guilty? Just another lie I guess. Frankly for the damage he caused he deserves the death penalty. Petras
  • Score: 11

8:30am Wed 18 Jun 14

Beckenham Chris says...

Most people were hoping he would rot in America.He is a filthy lying scumbag who profits out of others misery. He is as guilty as they come.Anyone who doubts it should read the full trial documents including the witness statements and admissions from his co accused who pleaded guilty.He is no better than a gun toting hoodie,only difference is he wears different clothes and looks respectable
Most people were hoping he would rot in America.He is a filthy lying scumbag who profits out of others misery. He is as guilty as they come.Anyone who doubts it should read the full trial documents including the witness statements and admissions from his co accused who pleaded guilty.He is no better than a gun toting hoodie,only difference is he wears different clothes and looks respectable Beckenham Chris
  • Score: 11

11:07am Wed 18 Jun 14

nuxleyresident says...

And shame on the Shopper - this wasn't an "extradition ordeal", it was a prison sentence for arms dealing.
And shame on the Shopper - this wasn't an "extradition ordeal", it was a prison sentence for arms dealing. nuxleyresident
  • Score: 9

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