A DRUG runner tried to smuggle 50 kilos of cannabis into Britain from Jamaica in matching luggage, a court was told.
Robert Dickson, 49, of Telford Road, Edinburgh asked customs officers what the weather was like when he was caught with the £158,000 haul at Gatwick Airport in September last year, the Old Bailey heard.
The cannabis was smuggled in two matching blue trolley bags weighing more than 24kg each, jurors heard. The bags were checked inunder the duplicated name of another passenger, a Mr Griffith, at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Dickson, who had been in the country for 10 days, checked in just one small black bag for the overnight Virgin Atlantic flight.
Neil King, prosecuting, said: “Mr Griffith is issued with two tags.
“A quarter of an hour later two more tags were generated in his name.
“The tags issued end up being each of the two bags containing nothing else other than cannabis.
“The prosecution say there has been some interference.
“Something has gone suspiciously wrong in Jamaica. The prosecution cannot say exactly what.”
Customs officers were suspicious of the heavy matching suitcases when the luggage was offloaded at Gatwick on September 24.
They were both stuffed full of the herbal illegal drug, it was claimed.
Mr King added: “Bags were offloaded and examined by officers at the rear of belt seven.
“A customs officer pulls off one of the bags with Mr Griffith’s name on it and he finds wrapped substances he believes to be drugs.
“He finds another matching bag and he notes there to be 24 kg of cannabis inside each of them.”
Dickson was busted by officers when he went to pick up the two planted bags from the airline belt later that morning.
“They saw Dickson pick up both bags and put them on his trolley and headed towards the customs green channel, despite them having somebody else’s name on and their distinctive rainbow labels,” said Mr King.
“Dickson leaves behind his black small bag with his name on it.”
Dickson’s behaviour was ‘strange’ and he asked about the weather outside when stopped by officers, the court was told.
When the bags were opened he denied they were his and said his own black bag was missing.
Mr King said: “These drugs, over 24kg in each bag, had a street value of £158,000.
“This was a valuable cargo in a sophisticated operation.
“The defendant attempts to find an explanation for that expensive holiday.
“The prosecution say the only explanation is that he was tasked to bring back these bags.”
Dickson denies one count of smuggling cannabis into the UK.
The trial continues.
Source:Edinburgh Evening News