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Micromuse founder spends New Year in jail

In custody until Thursday - crack seized, allegedly

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The millionaire founder of London-based reseller Micromuse is languishing in a Guernsey prison cell following a post-Christmas drugs raid. According to reports in yesterday's Mail On Sunday, Christopher Dawes was arrested on the neighbouring Channel Island of Alderney after a £1.5 million spending spree was cut short by a Boxing Day cocaine swoop. The high flyer landed in sleepy Alderney in his private helicopter and snapped up the £415,000 Chez Andre Hotel, writing out a £60,000 cheque as a deposit. His euphoria was shortlived, however, when police and customs officers pounced and netted the island’s first crack cocaine seizure. Dawes’ £3 million helicopter and £3 million private jet were impounded and stripped by Customs. Two packages found during the raids were being analysed pending the trial. The States of Alderney Court remanded Dawes in custody until next Thursday. Dawes, 39, was said to have fallen in love with Alderney, previously buying several properties there including the £285,000 Devereux House Hotel and £350,000 private Sauchet House. He was one of the elite band of just half a dozen who own more than 30 of the island’s 2,000 acres. He also has a home in Amsterdam. The Australian-born entrepreneur launched Micromuse in 1989 two years after he arrived in London. The company made him a millionaire when he resigned as chief executive and president in October and cashed in £24 million of shares. The arrest coincided with The Sunday Times listing Micromuse in its list of predicted successes for 1999. The publication said the company showed potential opportunity for brave investors, but noted Dawes "taking an increasingly back-seat role prior to his exit", a move which had damaged the company’s reputation, it said. ®

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