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Man jailed for airport drugs smuggling

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 January 2011 | UPDATED: 14:45 19 January 2011

Andrius Karbauskis

Andrius Karbauskis

Avon and Somerset Police - single use only

A DRUGS smuggler has been jailed for seven years after he was caught trying to carry heroin worth more than £300,000 through Bristol Airport in a hollowed-out suitcase.

Andrius Karbauskis, aged 26, arrived at the Lulsgate site on September 25 on a flight from Antalya, Turkey.

The Lithuanian man was questioned by UK Border Agency officers and told them he was due to meet a man in Bristol before travelling on to London.

Karbauskis was taken to collect his suitcase at the baggage carousel, but told officers he did not know what was inside it.

A search was carried out and white powder was found concealed in false compartments, wrapped in black plastic.

The powder, which weighed 6.86kgs, was later confirmed to be heroin with a purity of about 40 per cent and an estimated street value of £308,700.

Karbauskis was charged with drug smuggling and pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court on January 11.

His Honour Judge Simon Darwall-Smith then jailed him on Thursday for seven years.

The UK Border Agency will look to deport Karbauskis on his release.

James Caldwell, who heads investigations for the UK Border Agency in South West England, said: “The UK Border Agency is at the forefront of the fight to stop drugs, weapons, other contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK and our officers are on constant alert to keep them out of the country.

“Drugs devastate lives and communities and we are determined to stop them reaching our streets.

“This case demonstrates to anyone considering smuggling drugs that they will be taken to court and will face a lengthy jail term.”

UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

They also use an array of search techniques including detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners, as well as visual searches, to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes.

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