Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

NZ man jailed for UK drug smuggling

An Auckland man has been jailed for five years. Photo / File
An Auckland man has been jailed for five years. Photo / File

An Auckland man has been jailed for five years for attempting to smuggle nearly $1.5m worth of methamphetamine through London's Heathrow airport.

Paul Da Silva, 57, from North Shore was arrested by Border Force officers at Heathrow's Terminal 3 on August 22 after arriving on a flight from Dubai.

Border Force senior investigating officer Siobhan Micklethwaite said his arrest followed the discovery of a white powdered substance leaking out from the broken handle of one of his bags.

Forensic tests revealed the powder to be methamphetamine. Subsequent x-rays of his luggage revealed more of the drug hidden inside various electronic items, including a
Sony Playstation and a laptop computer.

In total the seizure weighed almost four kilos and would have had a UK street value of nearly 750,000 ($NZ1.45m).

Da Silva admitted a charge of attempting to import a class A drug and was sentenced to five years in prison by a judge at Isleworth Crown Court in West London on Thursday (UK time).

He will also face deportation at the end of his sentence.

Ms Micklethwaite said it was a "significant" quantity of drugs and the sentence handed down to Da Silva reflected that.

"I hope it serves as a warning to others.

"Drug trafficking is a serious offence and Border Force officers are on constant alert to prevent dangerous drugs like methamphetamine making it to our streets."

- APNZ

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