Wig trader found with £400k of drugs in luggage
A WIG trader was stopped at Bristol Airport with cocaine worth as much as £400,000 hidden in the lining of her suitcases, a jury has heard.
Adetokunbo Ajoke Bakare said she bought the medium size Sanda and Samsonite trolley bags from a roadside trader in Cameroon, after her original luggage was damaged.
The seamstress said she no idea drugs were present and she had not been pressured to courier them.
It transpired the 44-year-old had made eight return trips, seven from Bristol and one from Heathrow, to Cameroon and Nigeria between October 2010 and July last year.
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She was also found to have travelled using a false Bristol address and money contaminated with heroin was found at her home in London.
Bakare denies a charge of importing cocaine into the UK.
Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said Bakare flew into Bristol on July 12 last year, went through passport control and was detained by customs officers who searched her two cases and handbag.
Mr Hollier said: "Customs emptied out the usual clothes and cosmetics and they realised the cases were still quite heavy. They were put through the X-ray machine and there was something between the inner and outer lining, which was stuck down with glue. In each case were bags of cocaine, weighing a total of five kilogrammes."
Investigators saw Bakare had stated on a UK landing card her address was in Hotwells Road, Bristol, which turned out to be empty student rented accommodation. They then established her London address, where they found her 72-year-old husband as well as a suitcase containing £4,860 in notes contaminated with heroin in greater amounts than that detected on banknotes in general circulation.
The investigation established Bakare's recent eight foreign trips, which cost as much as £1,000 a time.
Bakare was interviewed and said she was a seamstress and tailor who travelled to Cameroon to buy wigs and clothing.
Mr Hollier said: "She said she bought wigs for £25 and sold them for £250. She was wearing a wig when she was stopped, and had two wigs in her luggage. The cost of trips to West Africa and back ranged from £800 to £1,000 a go. Therefore she was asked where's the profit? There was no clear answer."
Bakare told officers she had been told that to travel from Bristol she had needed to give a Bristol address, so she had bought a ticket stating she was from Hotwells Road and wrote that address on her landing card.
She said money found at her home was from family in Nigeria.
The case continues.