19/03/2003

Woman charged with cocaine smuggling

A Dutch woman was charged today with attempting to smuggle cocaine with an estimated street value of £250,000 from Amsterdam to Northern Ireland.

This charge follows the seizure of nearly two kilos of the Class A drug at Belfast International Airport by Customs officers.

Twenty-year-old Mirelva Giacinta Martens appeared at Belfast Laganside Courts this morning charged with illegally importing prohibited substances. She was remanded in custody for a week.

A Customs spokesperson said: “The vigilance of Customs officers has stopped a significant amount of Class A drugs reaching the streets of Northern Ireland.

“In line with the government’s drug strategy, this shows our commitment to reducing the availability of illegal drugs.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 the maximum penalty for supply and possession is life imprisonment.

Customs have urged anyone who may have information in relation to drugs smuggling to contact them confidentially on free phone 0800 59 5000.

(GMcG)

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