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Over £1.2M cocaine seized at Gatwick over 2 days

Two huge finds takes over 16kgs of drugs off the streets.

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Two separate cases involving the seizure of large quantities of cocaine have recently taken place by Border Force at Gatwick Airport.

In the first instance an attempt to smuggle cocaine into the UK hidden in handbags and a suitcase has been prevented by Border Force officers at Gatwick Airport.

Officers discovered the Class A drugs on the morning of Friday, 6 July when two passengers were stopped after arriving on a flight from Aruba. The weight of the drugs was estimated to be around 15 kilos and a full forensic analysis will now take place.

Tim Kingsberry, Director of Border Force South said:

“Using their skill and expertise, Border Force officers protect our country from those who attempt to smuggle in dangerous drugs. In this case, the drugs seized were estimated to have a potential value of approximately £1.2 million once cut and sold on the streets.

“Working with law enforcement colleagues like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.”

Following the seizure by Border Force, the investigation was passed to the NCA.

A 31-year-old Italian man, David Fasano, and a 25-year-old Spanish woman, Tania Cedino-Piguane were charged with importing a Class A drug. Fasano, of Grove Vale Road, East Dulwich, and Cedino-Piguane, of no fixed address, both appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Monday, 9 July and were remanded in custody. They will next appear at Croydon Crown Court on 14 August.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

The second case took place the next day when an attempt to smuggle cocaine into the UK was again prevented by Border Force officers at Gatwick Airport.

Officers discovered approximately 1.5kgs of the Class A drug on Saturday (7 July) when a passenger was stopped after arriving on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The drugs, which have an estimated street value of around £75,000, were found inside a suitcase.

Border Force officers stopped and questioned a man who had arrived on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

A search of luggage by officers revealed the drugs within a suitcase and a full forensic analysis will now take place.

Tim Kingsberry, Director of Border Force South said:

“The professionalism and vigilance of our officers has prevented a significant quantity of Class A drugs entering the UK and ending up on our streets.

“Working with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other law enforcement partners we will continue to tackle drug smuggling and bring those responsible to justice.”

Following the seizure by Border Force, the investigation was passed to the NCA.

A 25 year-old man from Trinidad and Tobago, Nehemiah Timon GULSTON, was charged with importing a Class A drug. Gulston, of no fixed UK address, appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Monday, 9 July where he was remanded in custody. He will next appear at Croydon Crown Court on 24 August.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.
Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Crime

Langley Green man sent to prison after more than £13k drugs found in his home

A Crawley man found with nearly £13,500 worth of drugs in his home has been given a prison sentence.

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Police conducted a warrant at the address of Matthew Stevens in Dobson Road, Crawley, after reports from members of the public regarding suspicious behaviour in the area was reported.

During the search on 15 July 2016, officers found a quantity of cocaine, spice and drug paraphernalia. Stevens, 44, was then arrested.

He was released under investigation and the Crawley Investigation team began a long and complex analysis of items seized from the address.

Stevens was charged in May 2017 and pleaded not guilty to possession with intent to supply class A (cocaine), possession of a class B and possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance (spice).

He stood trial at Hove Crown Court and on Friday 2 November Stevens was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to a total of four years.

Detective Constable Mark Buckley said:

“Sussex Police work tirelessly to stop the supply of illegal drugs within our community.
“The presiding Judge recognised the severity of Stevens’ actions and imposed a sentence representing that.

“We are conscientiously robustly tackling drug issues in Crawley and urge anyone who notices any suspicious behaviour to report it to us without delay.

“Let’s work together to make Crawley a safe place. No one knows their neighbourhoods better than residents themselves, so please get in touch if something seems out of place.”

You can read police’s advice on how to report issues of drugs here.

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