Man admits smuggling £100,000 worth of cocaine into Gatwick Airport

A man has admitted to attempting to smuggle Class A drugs worth £100,000 into the UK at Gatwick Airport.

Suitcase filled with bags of cocaine at Gatwick. Photo by the Home Office
Suitcase filled with bags of cocaine at Gatwick. Photo by the Home Office

The Home Office said Border Force officers found approximately 2.4kg of cocaine sewn into the lining of a suitcase belonging to Bastien Corris Steve Dember, from Union Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 24-year-old was found in possession of the drugs when he arrived on a flight from St Lucia on Monday, August 8, 2016.

The case was passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA) for further investigation.

Suitcase used to try and smuggle cocaine into Gatwick. Photo by the Home Office

The Italian national, appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday August 9.

The Home Office said he pleaded guilty to importing Class A drugs and was remanded in custody until September 12 where he will be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court.

Sue Young, Border Force South regional director, said: “Border Force officers play a crucial role in securing our borders against drug smuggling.

“In this case, their professionalism has meant that dangerous Class A drugs have been seized and will no longer end up in our communities where they can do so much harm.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the NCA to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

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 UK.

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 tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the smuggling Hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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