Cocaine seized by Border Force at Belfast City airport

27 December 2018

Border Force officers at Belfast City Airport have seized approximately 4kg of cocaine, which was found concealed in a suitcase.

 

The detection was made on Sunday (23 December) when a passenger was stopped after arriving on a flight from Brazil via Heathrow.

The drugs are estimated to have a potential value in excess of £200,000.

John Oldham, Assistant Director, Border Force North, said: 

“This is just one example of the crucial work that Border Force officers do every day to help keep the UK safe. Detections of dangerous Class A drugs such as this are testament to their dedication and expertise.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies.  They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“Working with our colleagues at the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to do all we can to stop drug traffickers. Those convicted of drug importation offences face considerable prison sentences.

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

After being interviewed by NCA investigators 47-year-old Valdire Medeiros Da Silva, a Brazilian national living in the Portadown area was charged with the importation of a class A drug, possession and possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He will appear before Belfast Magistrates on Wednesday 26 December.

Border Force officers are the front line in protecting the country and play a key role in detecting illegal immigration, disrupting serious and organised crime and helping to prevent the threat of terrorism.  Border Force also protects the UK’s revenue, contributing to the nation’s prosperity and growth.

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 Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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