Stansted cocaine smuggler jailed for 8 years

PUBLISHED: 13:47 12 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:22 31 May 2010

A 57 year old Nigerian woman was sentenced last Friday (8 February) to eight and half years in jail by Chelmsford Crown Court after attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of over £500,000 into the UK. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers stopp

A 57 year old Nigerian woman was sentenced last Friday (8 February) to eight and half years in jail by Chelmsford Crown Court after attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of over £500,000 into the UK.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers stopped Abosede Fehintola on the 26th October 2007, after she had arrived at Stansted on the evening flight from Istanbul. She told officers that she was in the UK to visit her pregnant daughter. Fehintola was carrying one black suitcase which she said she had packed herself. When one of the officers lifted the emptied bag it still felt heavy. Officers scanned the case and the X- rays showed a package or packages concealed within the lining of the bag. A hole was made with a spike and a white powder was found which tested positive to cocaine. In total officers recovered an estimated 5 kilos of Class A drugs.

In sentencing Fehintola His Honour Judge Gratwicke said:

"The importation of Class A drugs into this country is regarded as extremely serious. Cocaine in all its various forms brings nothing but misery, ill health and degradation to those who become addicted to it and stress and sorrow to those who are related to those addicted. Courts in this country have said that those who travel from abroad and decide to break laws to bring Class A into the UK must expect substantial prison sentences."

Fehintola, a trader in children's clothes & shoes, was also carrying £1000 and a quantity of Nigerian Naira which was seized under the proceeds of crime act. A married woman with five children, Fehintola was charged with smuggling offences on 26 October 2007 and appeared before Colchester Magistrates Court on the 7th December 2007.

Dave Gostelow from HM Revenue & Customs commented:

"HMRC is at the forefront of the fight to stop drugs entering the UK and to reduce the associated harm to our communities. The sentence handed down today should act as a deterrent to those involved in drug trafficking and clearly shows that crime doesn't pay.

If you know of any suspicious activities which may be linked to drug smuggling, call our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000

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