Woman with £400k of cocaine hidden in bag jailed
A DRUGS mule stopped at Bristol Airport with cocaine worth £400,000 in her suitcase linings has been jailed for eight years.
Adetokunbo Ajoke Bakare claimed to have bought the suitcases from a roadside trader in Cameroon and denied any knowledge of the drugs when she was stopped in July last year.
But Bristol Crown Court heard that the 44-year-old had made eight return trips, seven from Bristol and one from Heathrow, to Cameroon and Nigeria in the 10 months leading up to her arrest.
She was also found to have travelled using a false Bristol address and money contaminated with heroin was found at her home in London.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Bakare originally pleaded guilty to importing cocaine into the UK.
She was later given leave to change her plea – but a jury of eight women and four men unanimously convicted her after just over three hours of deliberation yesterday.
Judge David Ticehurst told a tearful Bakare: "I am in no doubt whatsoever that you knew full well what was in your suitcases.
"There is no evidence whatsoever you were under any pressure or duress. This was a deliberate policy, embarked upon by you, to bring class A drugs into this country and make a profit.
"You played a lesser role. You were a courier of drugs, used to bring them into this country on one occasion."
The court was told that Bakare would be liable to be deported to her native Nigeria after serving her term.
Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said customs officers who searched Bakare's baggage realised the cases were still quite heavy even after being emptied of the visible contents of clothes and cosmetics. They were x-rayed and something was spotted between the inner and outer lining, which was stuck down with glue.
Bags of cocaine, weighing a total of 5kg, were found.
In her defence, Bakare claimed to have no knowledge of the drugs. She said she travelled to Cameroon to buy wigs and clothing to sell on at a profit and also worked as a prostitute.
After the case Dawn Cartwright, of Border Force, said: "We are serious about tackling the criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into Britain and Bakare's lengthy jail term should serve as a warning to others."