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Smuggler who swallowed over 90 packages of cocaine imprisoned in UK

A drug smuggler, Henry Michael Penijn, who swallowed over 1kg of cocaine worth an estimated £80,000 (over N43 million) has been jailed for four years in the United Kingdom.

Penijn, who lived in the Netherlands with no fixed abode, was investigated by the UK National Crime Agency after flying from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, into Gatwick Airport on December 12.

Shortly after being stopped by the Border Force, Penijn admitted that he had swallowed more than 90 packages of cocaine, though he gave no explanation as to why he did it.

After having the drugs tested, NCA investigators found the cocaine was 64% pure, and would have been worth in excess of £80,000 if cut and sold on British streets.

Penijn appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday where he was sentenced to four years in prison, having entered a guilty plea to importing class A drugs.

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NCA Branch Commander, Mark McCormack, said: “Organised crime groups need couriers like Penijn to bring their illicit commodities into the UK. 93 packages of cocaine are a significant amount for one person to swallow, and for that reason we suspect that this may not have been Penijn’s first time.

“It is also an extremely dangerous method to use. If any one of those packages had split or burst, the consequences would likely have been fatal. The class A drugs trade is almost always linked to serious and organised crime, with local communities and the people within them suffering as a result.”

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