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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