Stansted cannabis swallower jailed

A SPANISH woman who attempted to smuggle cannabis resin worth an estimated �4,500 into the UK through Stansted Airport has been jailed for six months.

Isabel Barrientos Cornejo, 34, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday (April 19). She had pleaded guilty to a charge of importing a Class B drug at an earlier hearing.

She had been stopped by Border Force officers when she arrived on a flight from Seville in the early hours of February 23.

When her baggage tested positive for cocaine Barrientos Cornejo was taken to a search room. A strip search was carried out after she failed to explain why the drugs had been detected. The search revealed that she had concealed a package on her body which Barrientos Cornejo then declared contained cannabis.

She was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the importation of controlled drugs and taken into Border Force detention where she later passed a number of swallowed packages.

Peter Avery, from border force, said: “In total she had swallowed or concealed on her person packages of cannabis totalling approximately 1.5kg.

“Those who would buy cannabis and fuel the illegal drugs trade should know that this is often the reality of how it is brought into the UK – inside drugs mules.

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“There is no doubt that had she not been stopped, this cannabis would have ended up being sold on the UK’s streets.

“We are serious about tackling the criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into Britain and this case should serve as a warning to others.”

Barrientos Cornejo’s conviction follows that of Juan Jose Avarez Garcia who arrived at Stansted on the same flight and had attempted to smuggle �3,000 of cannabis into the UK. He was jailed for six months on February 29 having pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to import a Class B drug.

There are specialist Criminal and Financial Investigation teams across the country that work to identify those involved in smuggling and immigration crime, be they the smuggler or wider criminal gang.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.