A drug smuggler who posed as a disabled man then attempted to smuggle £25,000 worth of cannabis into the UK through Birmingham International Airport has been jailed for 12 months.
Lee Love was stopped by Border Force officers on June 13 last year when he arrived at the airport and attempted to pass through the green customs channel in a wheelchair being pushed by an airport porter.
Love, 25, of Cartwright Street, Audenshaw, was sentenced when he appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing. Love’s suitcase was found to contain six rum cake boxes which were filled with a solid substance later found to be more than 12kg of herbal cannabis. Love, who at the time was living in Wellington Road, Wolverhampton, was detained by Border Force. Following the seizure, the investigation was passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
During interview Love admitted that he had accepted the offer of a holiday to Jamaica from a man he had become acquainted with, who later dropped him off at the airport. He claimed he did not become suspicious until he was abroad and it was too late.
Denise Heaney, Border Force Assistant Director at Birmingham, said: “It is thanks to the vigilance of Border Force officers that the drugs were found and have not ended up on the streets of the UK. “Love may have genuinely believed that the offer of a free holiday came with no strings attached. If so, he was naïve in the extreme but naivety is no defence. Drug smuggling relies on people like Love who are prepared to act as couriers, whether wittingly or unwittingly, and the penalties are rightly severe. We will continue to work with our colleagues at the NCA to identify and stop drug couriers and bring them to justice.”
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call our [Birmingham Police] hotline.
By Andy Richardson - The Birmingham Mail/March 4, 2016