Drug smuggler caught at Gatwick had swallowed £80,000 of cocaine

A drug smuggler caught at Gatwick Airport had swallowed cocaine worth an estimated £80,000.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 4:19 pm

Henry Michael Penijn, 36, who lived in the Netherlands with no fixed abode, was investigated by the National Crime Agency after flying from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, into Gatwick Airport on December 12 last year, a spokesman said.

He added: “Shortly after being stopped at the border Penijn admitted that he had swallowed more than 90 packages of cocaine, though he gave no explanation as to why he’d done it.”

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

Henry Michael Penijn swallowed £80,000 of cocaine

Penijn appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday, January 19, where he was sentenced to four years in prison, having entered a guilty plea to importing class A drugs, the National Crime Agency said.

NCA branch commander Mark McCormack added: “Organised crime groups need couriers like Penijn to bring their illicit commodities into the UK.

“Ninety-three packages of cocaine is 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.”