I'm a prostitute not a drugs runner, trial told
A WOMAN accused of smuggling £400,000 worth of cocaine into Bristol Airport told a jury she was a prostitute, not a drugs runner.
Adetokunbo Ajoke Bakare told Bristol Crown Court she was clueless as to why customs officers at Bristol Airport found five kilos of the drug stuffed in the linings of her two suitcases.
She told the court she regularly funded trips to Cameroon to operate as a sex worker as well as to buy wigs, clothes and jewellery to sell.
She said on the last occasion her luggage was damaged so she bought two new cases from a bag vendor, before flying home and landing into trouble.
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Bakare, 44, of Caldecott Way in Hackney, denies importing cocaine into the UK.
The court has heard that when Bakare was arrested, it transpired she had made eight return trips (seven from Bristol and one from Heathrow) to Cameroon and Nigeria between October 2010 and July last year.
She was also found to have travelled using a false Bristol address and money contaminated with heroin was found at her home in East London.
Bakare denies importing cocaine into the UK.
Speaking through a Nicaraguan interpreter, she told the court she went to Cameroon to work as a prostitute, behind the back of her 72-year-old husband in London.
She said: "The place where I went to was well known for prostitutes. Punters took us away to their own hotel. I didn't pay anyone in Cameroon for finding my customers. All the money I made I kept for myself."
Bakare said her earnings depended on sexual services provided, and she would also buy wigs in Cameroon to sell in the UK.
She told the court a man called "CJ" helped her buy £800-£1,000 flight tickets, which she paid for, in London and then Bristol.
The mother-of four said she was neither forced into prostitution nor drugs running.
Mark Hollier, prosecuting, told her: "I suggest you are a professional drugs courier."
She replied: "This is not the first time I have been going to Cameroon. If I had been dealing with drugs and I was a professional drug courier how come I was living in a room in London with a husband?"
She explained that £4,860 in heroin- contaminated cash, found at her London home, was money she had accumulated in Nigeria and changed into sterling through a local money changer.
The case continues.