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7 May 2014, 10:43
A man from Norfolk who was caught by Border Force attempting to smuggle almost three kilos of crystal meth into the UK has been jailed for ten years.
Christopher Thrower, 37, of Station Road, Geldeston, was arrested on 9 June 2013 as he arrived into Heathrow Terminal 4 having travelled from Burkina Faso (West Africa), via Casablanca, Morocco.
Following a search of his suitcase Border Force officers noticed that the bag was unusually heavy when empty and an x-ray revealed hidden compartments within the case.
A crystalline substance found concealed inside the compartments was tested and found to be amphetamine.
The case was referred to the National Crime Agency's Border Policing Command and Thrower was charged with attempting to import a class A drug.
Following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court Thrower was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison on Thursday 1 May. He was also given a four year travel restriction order, which will come into force when he has served his sentence.
Another man, Darren Cattermole, 41, of Mendham in Suffolk stood trial alongside Thrower having been arrested at Heathrow on 8 June 2013 following the seizure of another three kilos of crystal meth. Cattermole was found not guilty of importation charges.
The court was told how the six kilos of drugs seized would have had a total estimated value of around £1million had they been sold in the UK.
Marc Owen, Border Force Heathrow Director, said:
"I hope the length of the sentence handed out here serves as a warning to others who would consider trafficking drugs.
"Border Force officers have prevented a substantial amount of class A drugs reaching our streets and, working with our colleagues from the NCA, we have made sure a man who tried to bring them here is behind bars."
Criminal investigations launched as a result of Border Force seizures of prohibited items and goods are undertaken by officers from the National Crime Agency's Border Policing Command. The NCA is leading the UK's fight to cut serious and organised crime, including child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration and fraud and cyber crime.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.