By Matthew Roscoe • 22 February 2022 • 16:03
Quack cocaine: Drug laced duck seized at Stansted Airport. Credit: National Crime Agency (NCA)
QUACK COCAINE – A man from Albania has pleaded guilty to trying to import cocaine into the UK using a golden statue of a duck, found to be laced with the drug, which was seized at Stansted Airport.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested 29-year-old Aldo Alushi, from Milwards, Harlow, on January 7 after a suspicious package, which arrived on a flight from Cali in Colombia, was seized by Border Force officers.
The officers x-rayed the package – a wooden box containing a hollow gold-coloured duck statue – which showed a “number of irregularities,” according to an NCA statement.
The Border Force officers drilled into the statue and after a pink sticky substance leaked out, a drugs test was performed which showed a positive result for cocaine.
Alushi, who had been living illegally in the UK, denied the allegations at first but changed his statement at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, February 18 when he pleaded guilty to importing drugs into the UK.
Lydia Bloomfield, Branch Commander at the NCA, said: “This is certainly one of the most unusual attempts to smuggle drugs we’ve seen, and it shows the lengths that organised crime groups are willing to go in an attempt to avoid detection.
“The cocaine trade fuels significant further criminality, most notably serious violence, both upstream where the drug is sourced and here on the streets of the UK. Our work with partners like Border Force is key to disrupting class A supply chains and dismantling those groups behind the trade.”
Martin Hendy, Deputy Director of Border Force for Central Region, said: “Drug supply chains are violent and exploitative, degrading neighbourhoods across our country.
“Border Force’s work with the NCA to stop drugs entering the UK is a core part of the Government’s 10-year drug strategy to cut crime and save lives. Those involved can be proud of their work and particularly those officers that intercepted and stopped this harmful drug from entering our communities.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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