Merry Xmas Everybody Slade
A 28-year-old man has been jailed for 10 years and six months for his part in a plot to smuggle cocaine worth £1.7 million into the UK on board a luxury cruise ship.
Claudie Anglin, of The Doweries, Rubery, Birmingham, was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to smuggling 20kg of cocaine.
The court heard that Anglin was meeting four drug mules who had collected the drugs from St Lucia while posing as tourists on the Arcadia cruise liner.
The four mules were stopped by customs at the Southampton cruise terminal.
They had strapped the cocaine to their bodies in a bid to smuggle the drugs into the country.
Anglin was arrested as he waited for them in the car park outside the Hampshire port.
Malcolm Bragg, assistant director of criminal and financial investigations for the UK Border Agency, said:
"Smugglers will stop at nothing to bring drugs into the country - even posing as cruise passengers.
"This case shows that we are monitoring all potential smuggling routes into the UK and will also stop at nothing to protect the UK from harmful drugs.
"The penalties for smuggling are severe. That's because drugs can devastate people's lives and destroy the fabric of our communities.
"Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.''
The four couriers also received prison sentences for their part in the smuggling plot when they appeared before the same court in January 2009.