Smuggler caught with thousands of MDMA tablets in pillow case

A smuggler has been jailed for seven years for trying to import thousands of MDMA pills into the country hidden in a pillow case.

Dutch national Hesus Ramon Nicatia, from Dordrecht in the Netherlands, was stopped by UK Border Force after he arrived in Hull as a foot passenger on a ferry from Rotterdam.

Officers x-rayed the pillowcase after noticing it was suspiciously heavy and found other stashes of pills hidden in his luggage.

Nicatia, 22, admitted in interviews with National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators he had been paid to traffick the pills and pleaded guilty to importing Class A drugs at Hull Crown Court on October 9.

Paul Tallentire, operations manager for the NCA’s north east border investigation team, said: “Nicatia attempted to smuggle around 25,000 tablets into the UK, which would have had a potential street value of approximately £200,000.

“Despite his deliberate efforts to evade detection, working with our Border Force colleagues we have successfully prevented these class A drugs making it onto the UK streets and nightclubs.

“We are determined to do all we can to disrupt and stop drug traffickers and the organised criminal networks involved in this illegal trade.”

Mark Robinson, assistant director for Border Force Yorkshire & Humber, said: “We welcome this sentencing, which sends a strong message to people who think they can smuggle drugs into the United Kingdom.

“Border Force officers use a range of high-tech search equipment to detect illegal substances and prevent them reaching the UK’s streets.

“As this case demonstrates, we work closely with law enforcement colleagues in the NCA to disrupt drug smugglers and put those responsible behind bars.”