News story

Man jailed for Southend cannabis smuggling

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A Spanish man has been jailed after he was caught by Border Force officers attempting to smuggle cannabis worth more than £2,000 into the UK at Southend Airport.

Drug seizure

Juan Carlos Puebla Rejon, 41, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 6 November. He had pleaded guilty to importation of a Class B drug at an earlier hearing.

Rejon, from Granada in Spain, had been stopped by Border Force officers at Southend on 28 August when he arrived on a flight from Malaga.

When officers searched his luggage they found 123 pellet-sized packages wrapped in cling film. The packages, which had a combined weight of 1.153kgs, tested positive for cannabis.

He was arrested by Border Force and the case was passed to investigators from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command.

Phillip Holliday, Border Force Regional Director, said:

This case should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to try to smuggle drugs. We will catch you and bring you before the courts.

Seizures like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.

Border Force officers are the front line in protecting the country and play a key role in detecting illegal immigration, disrupting serious and organised crime and helping to prevent the threat of terrorism. Border Force also protects the UK’s revenue, contributing to the nation’s prosperity and growth.

They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Published 17 November 2014