£1.2 million drug smuggling plot foiled at Gatwick

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An attempt to smuggle £1.2 million worth of 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 when two passengers were stopped after arriving on a flight from Aruba on Friday morning. 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 we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.”

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 and were remanded in custody. They will next appear at Croydon Crown Court on 14 August.

In a separate incident on Saturday, Border Force officers at Gatwick foiled another attempt to smuggle cocaine into the country. Officers discovered around 1.5kgs of the drug 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.

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 and was remanded in custody. He will next appear at Croydon Crown Court in August.