30/08/2007

Dublin Drug Smuggler Jailed

A 30-year-old man from Dublin was jailed for two years on Wednesday at Ballymena Crown Court for attempting to import approximately £25,000 worth of cannabis into Northern Ireland through Belfast International Airport.

David Anthony Croker, unemployed, from the Kilmore area of Dublin was stopped and arrested by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers after arriving on a flight from Amsterdam in December 2006, having travelled out through Dublin Airport the previous day.

HMRC Assistant Director Investigation Northern Ireland, Joe McGuigan said: "This custodial sentence and the earlier forfeiture of €2,645 should send a message to criminals, reinforcing our commitment to take all necessary measures to bring them before the courts and deprive them of the proceeds of their crimes."

When passing sentence, Judge Smith said: "The circuitous route taken by Mr Croker was a major factor in determining the sentence in this case. The court considers the importation of drugs to be a very serious offence and although cannabis has been reclassified to Class C the penalties for importation remain the same."

In a previous hearing at Larne Magistrates Court on 8 June 2007, a sum of €2,645 seized by HMRC was forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

(SB/SP)

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