May 24 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 11, 2013
FOUR Spanish nationals have been jailed after they were caught by Border Force officers attempting to smuggle cannabis worth approximately £9,800 into the UK through Stansted Airport.
Guillermo Monge Perez, 35, Antonio Javier Navarro Montero, 33, Maria Nidia Jimenez Rubio, 36, and Jose Antonio Gomez Sanchez, 38, were each jailed for eight months when they appeared at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday (January 10).
Between them, they had swallowed or otherwise internally concealed a total of 621 individual packages of cannabis resin weighing a total of 3.4kg.
They had all pleaded guilty to charges of importing a Class B drug at earlier hearings at Uxbridge Magistrates Court.
The four were intercepted by Border Force officers at Stansted shortly before 11pm on November 23 last year after arriving on a flight from Malaga.
Officers first spoke to Jimenez Rubio who said that she had travelled to the UK with Gomez Sanchez. Tests on their luggage produced a positive reading for drugs and a subsequent search of Jimenez Rubio revealed that she had concealed a package of cannabis internally. She later admitted to concealing 83 packages.
Gomez Sanchez was found to have swallowed 182 packages of cannabis.
Navarro Montero’s luggage also tested positive for drugs. He later admitted to swallowing 187 packages of cannabis.
Monge Perez’s boots tested positive for drugs. He was arrested on suspicion of being involved with the importation of a controlled substance having swallowed 169 packages of cannabis.
Peter Avery, from Border Force, said: “This case should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to try and smuggle drugs. We will catch you and bring you before the courts.
“It is also a reminder to those who would use cannabis of the unpalatable truth about how it is brought into the UK – inside drugs mules.
“Our officers are in the frontline of the fight to stop drugs, weapons, contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK. Using the very latest technology, they are on constant alert to keep them out of the country.”
Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners, as well as visual searches, to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes which would otherwise end up causing harm to people, businesses and communities.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling can call the smuggling hotline on 0800 59 5000.