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Portuguese drug courier jailed after trying to smuggle cocaine into Northern Ireland

A Portuguese drugs courier who swallowed 35 packets of cocaine in an attempt to smuggle them into Northern Ireland was jailed for two years on Friday 15 February.

Mario Orlando Borges Marta Da Cruz, 52, from Lisbon was stopped by Border Force officers after he arrived at into Belfast City Airport on a flight from Faro, Portugal on 30 July, 2018.

Da Cruz was questioned by National Crime Agency officers and admitted swallowing 35 packages of cocaine, which was later found to be of a purity of 65%-69%. 

He was charged with importing class A drugs with a street value of £80,000 and pleaded guilty on 11 January 2019.

At Laganside Crown Court he was sentenced to two years imprisonment and will be deported to Portugal on conclusion of his prison sentence.

Billy Beattie, Branch Commander, said:

“Da Cruz was caught bringing class A drugs into Northern Ireland which would have been sold in our communities and potentially funded more criminality.

“The NCA will continue to work in partnership to protect Northern Ireland from criminals who try to exploit borders, and bring them to justice.”


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