Smuggler caught with £100,000 of cannabis at airport

Passengers go through security at Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Toby Williams
Passengers go through security at Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Toby Williams
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A DRUG smuggler has been jailed for three years and eight months after he was caught arriving at Edinburgh Airport with a suitcase full of cannabis.

Henry Alden’s haul of the drug had the potential to make more than £100,000 on the streets.

Alden was intercepted by border control officers after picking up the case when he arrived on a flight from Barcelona.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Alden, 20, claimed he had been in the Spanish city for a fortnight, but inquiries revealed he had flown from Luton to Barcelona five days earlier.

Prosecutor Bruce Erroch had told the court: “He advised the officers that the suitcase was his, that he had packed it himself and that he was not carrying anything for anyone else.”

He said the case was opened and officers found it contained “a limited amount of clothing”. Alden had packed two T-shirts, a polo shirt, two pairs of shorts and a set of underwear.

Mr Erroch said: “It also contained 11 bags of an apparent herbal substance, each bag being a clear, plastic, vacuum-sealed package.”

Each bag was found to contain a kilo of herbal cannabis.

The advocate depute said the consignment of the Class B drug could be bought for between £22,000 to £33,000.

But he added that with herbal cannabis being sold to users at £10 a gram, the haul had the potential to make £110,400.

Alden, who has a previous conviction for cannabis possession, was taken to St Leonard’s police station, where he gave a “no comment” interview.

He was found to have ¤1254 on him which was then seized.

Alden, formerly of St Andrews Road, Portsmouth, admitted illegally importing the drug and being concerned in the supply of it on May 19 this year at Edinburgh Airport.

A judge told him: “You are a young man who has shown a considerable amount of remorse for your actions.”

But Lady Wise said he had pleaded guilty to offences involving “a significant quantity of cannabis”. She told Alden that he would have faced a five-and-a-half-year sentence but for his early guilty pleas.

Defence solicitor advocate Vincent Belmonte said Alden had been unable to manage his finances and was approached with an offer that he would be able to get £5000 if he went to Spain and brought something back. He said Alden had “foolishly” agreed to it, but became concerned that he was doing wrong although he felt he had to go through with it.