Man swallowed £22k worth of heroin

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A man who attempted to smuggle heroin worth around £21,700 - which he had swallowed - through Belfast International Airport has been jailed for three years.

Manuel Gomes Da Silva, 42 FROM Guinea Bissau was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of drug smuggling at a previous hearing on 23 August 2012.

He was challenged by Border Force officers after arriving on a flight from Faro, Portugal in October last year.

Following questioning, officers became suspicious of his reasons for travelling to Northern Ireland and he was arrested and taken to Antrim Area Hospital, where an x-ray revealed a number of packages concealed internally.

Da Silva later produced 22 packages of heroin weighing almost 220 grammes, which had an estimated street value of £21,700.

John Spence of Border Force said:“The concealment technique used by this individual shows the lengths to which some people will go in an attempt to avoid detection by our officers.

“This drugs seizure shows the robust controls we have in place at our ports and airports to safeguard the UK and keep drugs of the street of our towns and cities.

“Border Force is at the forefront of the fight to stop drugs, weapons, other contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK and our officers are on constant alert to keep them out of the country.”