Date: 13 Nov 2007
Colin Smith was shot dead at Nels Gym on 13 November 2007.
He was shot twice in the stomach at close range with a pump-action shotgun.
It was thought that his murderer had waited for him near the Mill House pub and had shot him as he left to get in his car.
It was said that he had been lured to the gym. He had just dropped off his son at a football training session and had then driven to the gym, which was closed to customers for refurbishment and that he had met other underworld figures there at about 7.40pm. However, it was then said that he had received a call or text message about 20 minutes later for which he had stepped outside to take and was then shot.
No motive was known for his murder, but it was suggested that he had either been shot by someone jealous of his business success, or assassinated by the Columbian Cali drug cartel over a missing £72,000,000 cocaine consignment.
Colin Smith ran a property development company and was said to have had a number of other business interests. He had left school at 16 and gone into the building trade and had then started making property deals.
In 1993 he was been tried for his involvement in a plot to bring Venezuelan cocaine into the UK worth £190,000,000 but after two months of evidence, was cleared. It was said that he had been involved with a gang from Manchester that had been importing Class A drugs into the country and was arrested after a shipment was intercepted in Felixstowe, destined for Liverpool.
After his murder, the police said that his murder was, 'probably connected to his business interests. Mr Smith was a businessman. He had a property development company and a number of other business interests. I believe it is probable he was murdered as a result of some of those business interests. Mr Smith led a complex life and so this is a complex investigation.'
The Guardian Newspaper reported that Colin Smith had been a drugs baron and that he had amassed a £200,000,000 fortune through his Columbian contacts in the Cali cartel and that he was murdered after he tried to cheat them when a £72,000,000 cocaine consignment went missing. The Guardian referred to him as the 'Cocaine King'.
It was reported that the cocaine business between the UK and Columbia at the time was worth about £2,000,000,000 (£2bn) and that after Colin Smith's murder, a struggle erupted for control of it.
It was also reported that the Merseyside police had said that they were aware of at least one meeting where heads of Liverpool drug gangs had met to discuss revenge for Colin Smith's murder, and it was said that Colin Smith had been famous for his 1,000kg cocaine deals which were significant enough to have effected the price of cocaine across the whole of the country.
The Guardian newspaper noted that his murder brought to light the ability ot the Columbian cartels with fly in assassins to the United Kingdom to assassinate high level drug dealers.
It was said that the gunman had flown out of the country via John Lennon Airport immediately after the murder and long before the police realised the significance of Colin Smith's murder.
It was said that whilst Colin Smith kept a low profile, wearing old clothes and driving a cheap car, he had had bodyguards and was noted as having had Stephen Lawlor work with him for protection and to also deal with the Columbians. Stephen Lawlor himself was shot dead as he left a party near Netherley, Liverpool in May 2001.
In 2013, it was reported that his family said that they knew who had killed him.
He had five children. He was known as Colin 'Smigger' Smith.