August 20 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A man who swallowed packages containing cocaine worth more than £400,000 in an attempt to smuggle them into the UK has been jailed for five years.
Kwame Raymond, 42, of Warrior Close, Thamesmead, was stopped by Border Force officers at Stansted Airport on January 17 after he arrived on a flight from Amsterdam.
He claimed to have been visiting the Netherlands to attend a funeral, but when questioned he admitted swallowing around one hundred packages containing drugs.
Forensic tests later revealed that the packages contained around 2.2 kilos of cocaine, which if cut and sold on the streets in the UK would have had an estimated value of around £421,000.
Following an investigation by the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, Raymond pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. At a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday (April 14) he was sentenced to five years in prison.
Border Force regional director Phillip Holliday said: “This case shows the lengths smugglers will go to in their attempts to bring class A drugs into the UK.
“Those who swallow packages like this are risking their lives. If any one of those packages had split it could have been fatal.
“Border Force officers are on the front line of the fight to stop illegal drugs like cocaine making it onto the UK’s streets. Working with the NCA we are determined to do all we can to tackle traffickers and the criminal groups behind smuggling.”
Criminal investigations launched as a result of Border Force seizures of prohibited items and goods are undertaken by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command.
The NCA is leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, including child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration and fraud and cyber crime.