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Criminal Law: UK Border Agency seize millions of pounds' worth of class A drugs

In the last few months, the UK Border Agency has been stepping up its measures to seize class A drugs as they enter the country.

Between April and September this year, more heroin and cocaine was seized than in the whole of 2010.

The UKBA claim that through better intelligence, new screening techniques and improved communications between agencies, they have found 2, 116kg of cocaine and 773kg of heroin at UK ports and airports.

However, the run up to Christmas means that more parcels will be entering the UK than usual, providing an opportunity for smugglers to get drugs into the country.

Jim Jarvie of the UKBA said: "The trafficking groups work 365 days of the year devising ways of smuggling drugs into the UK. Post is a real problem."

Recently a haul of £300 million of cocaine was intercepted at Southampton docks in Hampshire where it had arrived on a pleasure cruiser.

Another shipment of 80kg of heroin was discovered at Felixstowe, Suffolk, where the drugs had been hidden in sacks of chilli powder.

Mr Jarvie said: "It was not a nice thing to examine. Chilli disguises the smell and puts the sniffer dogs off."

In July this year, £4.2 million worth of heroin was found hidden in bottles of baby powder. They had been posted with baby powder in to Pakistan where the powder was replaced with heroin, resealed and posted back to the UK saying "undeliverable" "return to sender".

With the amount of post coming into the UK increasing by 30% at Christmas time, this sort of drug-smuggling postal scam will be even more prevalent.

Mr Jarvie said: "We need to identify the controlling minds behind the organised crime groups, and take money off them."

The improved screening methods used by the UKBA seem to be reducing the amount of drugs on Britain's streets.

In October, the National Treatment Agency claimed that there were 10, 000 fewer drug addicts seeking treatment in England than there were two years ago.

Related links:
Read more on the story (BBC)
Read about drugs and crime (FindLaw)
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