Man caught in UK trying to smuggle cocaine in his dog's basket
A Mexican citizen has been jailed for trying to smuggle £800,000 worth of cocaine into the country. The man hid the drug in the basket of his dog Camila.
The offender was caught in May 2023 at Heathrow Airport after arriving from Mexico when the man came to pick up his animal, Sky News reports.
Employees of the Animal Reception Center noticed the atypical weight of the transport cage. When they checked the container, they found that the dog's cage was of an unusual size and smelled strongly of paint stripper. After a detailed inspection of the cargo, airport officials seized 10 blocks of cocaine weighing 1 kg each, which were glued to the crate.
Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) found that the suspect, Samano Galas, had repeatedly changed his travel dates and route to the UK. Ultimately, the man pleaded guilty to importing Class A drugs and was sentenced to 6 years and 4 months in prison by Winchester Crown Court.
NCA senior manager Darren Barr characterized the situation as a "cynical attempt to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds of class A drugs into the UK" and said the story would have a happier ending for his unwitting dog accomplice, Camille.
According to Jake Holliday, head of animal welfare at Heathrow, it was decided to leave the dog in the care of an airport employee during the NCA investigation.
"Now, after many months, it has been confirmed that Camila can go home with one of our animal welfare officers, who she adores. We'll miss her dearly - not least because her office antics kept us in hysterics - but we're very happy that she'll be cared for by someone who has been with her since she arrived," said Jake Halliday.