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Eight months in jail for Glasgow airport drug smuggler with giant cheese

07.12.05

The drug smuggler who tried to put sniffer dogs off the scent by bringing cannabis into Glasgow airport hidden in a giant block of cheese was sentenced to 8 months in jail at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday.

Customs officers became suspicious when Carlos Cano, from Spain, arrived at Glasgow Airport with no clothes and carrying a giant cheese. He was quizzed and searched. An officer prodded the cheese with a metal spike and discovered it had a solid centre. Cano, 22, was arrested and tests later showed the cheese contained a piece of cannabis resin weighing just under one kilo, with a street value of around £3000.

The court heard Cano, a musician, needed to raise money to help produce an album his band hoped would build up their profile beyond their home country of Spain. When the percussionist couldn't find the cash to pay his portion of the studio costs, he agreed to act as a drugs courier and fly to Scotland with cannabis concealed inside a block of cheese.

Prosecuting, Margaret Porter said Cano told Customs officials he had bought the cheese at a market back home in Grenada as a gift for a friend. He pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading the prohibition on importation on September 20.

Defence agent Matt Lynch said Cano was to have been paid €500 (£340) if he handed over the drug in the cheese to a person outside a Glasgow nightclub. Mr Lynch said Cano had never been in trouble before, came from a good family and bitterly regretted getting involved in the cannabis-smuggling venture.

Sheriff George Kavanagh said that in all the circumstances 12 months in jail would be an appropriate sentence. But he allowed Cano a discount of a third as he had admitted his guilt from the start. Cano's eight-month jail term was backdated to September 30.

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