Smug­gler caught af­ter swal­low­ing co­caine bags

Salford Advertiser - - NEWS - Char­lotte Cox

ADRUG smug­gler who risked his life by swal­low­ing more than 70 bags of co­caine be­fore board­ing a flight to Manch­ester has been jailed.

Wade Wil­liams, 53, was stopped by Bor­der Force of­fi­cers on Valen­tine’s Day af­ter his flight from Bar­ba­dos landed at Manch­ester Air­port.

It is un­der­stood Wil­liams, of Ge­orge­town, Guyana in South Amer­ica, be­gan to ‘pro­duce’ the packages af­ter high-tech bor­der checks and dur­ing ques­tion­ing and he was promptly taken for an X-ray.

The scan con­firmed he had swal­lowed 1.5 ki­los of high-pu­rity co­caine in 72 small packages – each the size of a ‘large gherkin’. The drugs’ likely street value once cut would have been £200,000. The bags were so po­tent that had just one of them split it could have been fa­tal.

The case was handed over to the Na­tional Crime Agency’s polic­ing team at the air­port.

He was ques­tioned and charged with im­port­ing Class A drugs.

He ap­peared be­fore Recorder Robert Craw­ford at Manch­ester Min­shull Street Crown Court and was jailed for five years af­ter plead­ing guilty to the charge.

There was also an or­der for his de­por­ta­tion and the de­struc­tion of the drugs.

Rob Miles, head of the Na­tional Crime Agency’s Manch­ester bor­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, said: “This demon­strates the des­per­a­tion shown by smug­glers to get il­le­gal drugs into the UK.

“His ac­tions were fool­ish to say the least – had just one of the 72 packages swal­lowed by Wil­liams bro­ken or split it is likely the con­se­quences would have been fa­tal.

“It also shows that it doesn’t mat­ter how well traf­fick­ers hide the drugs, we can still find them and stop them.”

Bor­der staff use search tech­niques in­clud­ing snif­fer dogs, car­bon diox­ide de­tec­tors, heart­beat mon­i­tors and scan­ners to find stow­aways, il­le­gal drugs, firearms and tobacco.

Crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions launched as a re­sult of Bor­der Force seizures are un­der­taken by of­fi­cers from the Na­tional Crime Agency’s Bor­der Polic­ing Com­mand.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about ac­tiv­ity which may be linked to smug­gling should call 0800 59 5000.

●●Wade Wil­liams was jailed for five years

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