South African man charged with cannabis smuggling

A South African man has been charged today with smuggling around 15kgs of cannabis, worth an estimated £46,000, from South Africa to Belfast.

Jacobus Frederick Engelbrecht, (24), was intercepted by Customs mobile detection officers at Belfast City Airport, when he arrived from Johannesburg via Heathrow on Sunday evening.

Mr Engelbrecht appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with illegally importing prohibited substances. He was remanded in custody for a week.

Customs' anti smuggling manager Angela Fulton said: "The removal of over £46,000 worth of cannabis from the criminal supply chain shows Customs' commitment to the multi-agency fight against drugs.

"In line with the UK government's drugs strategy, we work with our partners at home and abroad to reduce the availability of Class 'A' drugs, while continuing to detect and prosecute smugglers of other illegal drugs such as cannabis.”

This latest incident follows on closely from similar seizures from travelers arriving from South Africa made at Belfast City Airport earlier this month. Customs anti-smuggling officers seized approximately 28kgs of cannabis on Sunday September 7 and 20kgs of cannabis on Saturday September 20.

In an unrelated operation on Sunday 28th September, Customs also seized 390 litres of smuggled alcohol from at Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone.


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