An attempt to smuggle cocaine into the UK has been prevented by Border Force officers at Gatwick Airport.
Officers discovered approximately 1.5 kilos of the Class A drug on Saturday (7 July) when a passenger was stopped after arriving on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The drugs, which have an estimated street value of around £75,000, were found inside a suitcase.
Border Force officers stopped and questioned a man who had arrived on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
A search of luggage by officers revealed the drugs within a suitcase and a full forensic analysis will now take place.
Tim Kingsberry, Director of Border Force South said:
The professionalism and vigilance of our officers has prevented a significant quantity of Class A drugs entering the UK and ending up on our streets.
Working with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other law enforcement partners we will continue to tackle drug smuggling and bring those responsible to justice.
Following the seizure by Border Force, the investigation was passed to the NCA.
A 25-year-old man from Trinidad and Tobago, Nehemiah Timon Gulston, was charged with importing a Class A drug. Gulston, of no fixed UK address, appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Monday, 9 July where he was remanded in custody. He will next appear at Croydon Crown Court on 24 August.
The government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.
It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.
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 country.
Nationally, 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 hotline on 0800 59 5000.