Stansted heroin smugglers jailed

TWO women who attempted to smuggle heroin into the UK through Stansted Airport have each been jailed for three and a half years today (January 21).

Hortence Palata, 38, and Madzy Daniel, 37, had swallowed a combined total of 258 packages of the Class A drug in an attempt to evade detection. Palata had also internally concealed a larger package of the drug.

The pair, both from the Netherlands, were stopped by UK Border Agency officers at Stansted Airport on November 28 last year having arrived on a flight from Turkey.

Assistant director UK Border Agency Crime Directorate Peter Avery said: “This case is a perfect example of the extreme lengths criminals will go to in a bid to get drugs into the UK.

“They are even prepared to put their own lives at risk in pursuit of the considerable profits that can be made from this awful trade.

“Our highly skilled officers work hard and use the very latest technology to detect and prevent drugs from being smuggled into the UK. We are determined to combat drug trafficking which has such a destructive impact on the lives of so many.

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

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When initially questioned, Palata and Daniel said they had travelled to Turkey from Holland for a five-day holiday and planned to spend a further four days in London buying handbags and shoes.

Arrested on suspicion of having drugs internally concealed, both women denied the accusation. They refused to consent to an X-ray and were transferred to UK Border Agency detention at Colnbrook where on November 29 they both passed swallowed packages containing heroin.

In subsequent interviews the women admitted they had travelled to Turkey with the intention of smuggling drugs. Palata had swallowed a total of 133 packages and Daniel 125.

Forensic analysis confirmed that Palata had been carrying 962gms heroin and Daniel 970gms of heroin, with a combined estimated street value of �19,374.

Having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to importing heroin, Palata and Daniel were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court today (January 21).