A man has been charged with importing Class A drugs after Border Force officers found about two kilos of cocaine hidden in luggage at Gatwick Airport.
The officers discovered the drugs in the base of a suitcase.
The suitcase was identified at Gatwick’s baggage transfer point, where it was due to be loaded onto another European flight on Wednesday, February 5.
Two detection dogs indicated the possible presence of drugs and the case was taken away for further examination by Border Force officers.
They then discovered the cocaine, which has an estimated street value of more than £250,000.
The case was passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA) for further investigation, and Spanish national, Ruben Castro Lanzo, 18, of no fixed address, was charged with drug smuggling. He appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Thursday, February 6. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until Thursday, February 20.
Border Force South regional director, Carole Upshall, said: “In making this seizure, Border Force officers at Gatwick have taken dangerous Class A drugs out of circulation.”
Ms Upshall said: “Our officers are on the front-line of the fight to stop drugs, weapons, contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK. “Using detection dogs and the very latest technology, they are on constant alert to keep them out of the country.”
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.
Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office responsible for protecting the UK border. It is responsible for entry controls and customs functions at the border, alongside controls in France and Belgium, covering responsibilities including immigration and security checks, prevention of people trafficking, anti-smuggling of banned and restricted goods including weapons, and protection of border revenue. Criminal investigations launched as a result of Border Force seizures of prohibited items and goods are undertaken by officers who form part of the new NCA’s Border Policing Command, combating serious and organised crime, including child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration and fraud and cyber crime. Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/border-force