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23 November 2010, 10:00
A 72-year-old man from Northamptonshire has admitted attempting to smuggle heroin into Britain.
David Pryor, of Priory Road, Wellingborough, has pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to import a Class A drug, the UK Border Agency said.
He admitted the offence when he appeared at Isleworth Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on Friday (November 19th), a spokesman said.
He was arrested on September 5 after arriving at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on a flight from Tanzania, he added. Around four kilos of the drug were found in his suitcase, he said.
``Officers examined three baskets, which were inside the luggage, and found heroin concealed within the wicker. In total the drugs had an estimated street value of approximately £100,000.
``When first questioned, Pryor claimed that he worked for a law firm and had been to the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam to depose a witness.
He said the wicker baskets had been given to him as a gift by the cousin of the witness he had been to visit and that he had no idea the heroin had been hidden inside.``
Peter Avery, assistant director of the Agency's criminal and financial investigations unit, said: ``UK Border Agency officers are trained to expect the unexpected. As this case shows, people of all ages and backgrounds are prepared to risk their freedom for the potential financial rewards of drug smuggling.
``We also know that the criminals behind the drugs trade are capable of concealing their contraband in all kinds of everyday objects. Drugs like heroin destroy people's lives and we will stop at nothing to prevent them reaching our streets.''
Pryor was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court on January 10.