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Cocaine smuggler jailed

07.07.06

A Mexican tried to smuggle £100,000 of cocaine through Glasgow Airport by hiding it in a diving belt was jailed yeterday. Paramedic Yadir Adnan Gonzales Rios was jailed for three years and nine months.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Rios arrived at the city's airport in February. Customs officials were immediately suspicious about his claim to be on a diving holiday. It was mid-winter - not the best time to go diving in Scotland - plus he didn't have anything else with him, not even a pair of flippers.

The 30-year-old had travelled to Scotland from his home city of Cancun via Amsterdam. The route and the lack of diving equipment made customs officers suspicious. In addition his passport had only been issued five days earlier and he had less than £100 to fund the diving trip.

The Mexican's luggage was searched and 1.5kg of the Class 'A' drug were found in the part of the diving belt where weights are normally placed. Tests revealed it to be unusually pure, between 75 and 85 percent. Cocaine found on the streets is typically only 30 percent pure.

At an earlier hearing Rios, who is married to a primary school teacher, had admitted smuggling cocaine. At his sentencing yesterday, Jack Davidson QC, defending, said his client had never been in trouble previously and had simply been tempted by the lure of easy money.

Davidson added: 'It was clear my client was naive and lacking in any sophistication and involved in something doomed to disaster from the start. It was as if he was carrying a sign alerting customs, "Please arrest me".'

Judge Lady Dorrian told Rios that but for his guilty plea, she would have jailed him for five years. It is likely he will be deported after his sentence.

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