A man who tried to smuggle a kilo of cocaine hidden inside a pair of trousers into the UK at Gatwick, has been jailed for five years.
Hungarian national Sandor Malnai, 49, was stopped by Border Force officers as he arrived at Gatwick’s North Terminal on a flight from Barbados.
During a search of his luggage, Border Force officers found a pair of green cord trousers which appeared unnaturally stiff. A closer examination revealed packages of white powder concealed inside the lining.
Forensic checks showed that the substance was cocaine. A Border Force spokesman said it was estimated that if cut and sold in the UK, the cocaine which Malnai was attempting to smuggle into the country on April 4, would have had a street value in excess of £100,000.
After being handed over to officers from the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Border Policing Command, Malnai was charged.
At a hearing at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, April 17, Malnai pleaded guilty to drug importation charges and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Border Force South regional director Carole Upshall, said: “Malnai believed he could get his illicit cargo past our border controls, and as a result, he now faces a substantial amount of time behind bars.
“Our highly-trained Border Force officers are on the frontline of the fight to stop illegal drugs like cocaine making it onto the UK’s streets and causing harm to our communities.
“Working with the NCA, we are determined to do all we can to tackle traffickers and the criminal groups behind smuggling.”
Criminal investigations launched as a result of Border Force seizures of prohibited items and goods are undertaken by officers from the NCA’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 the NCA on 0800 59 5000.
Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office responsible for protecting the UK border.