Jailed: Slovakian smuggler who tried to sneak suitcase of crystal meth into Manchester

A Slovakian drug smuggler who attempted to sneak nearly 1kg of methamphetamine through Manchester Airport has been jailed for four and a half years.

Michael Gala, 33, from Michalovce, was intercepted by Border Force officers on October 11 last year, after arriving on a flight from Zurich.

Gala had attempted to hide the drugs – which have an estimated street value of around £175,000 – within the outer panels of his suitcase.

Border Force Regional Director Tony McMullin said: “This was a significant seizure which prevented a large quantity of a dangerous drug reaching the streets of the UK.

“Border Force officers play a crucial role in protecting the UK from illegal drugs and other contraband.

“Working with law enforcement colleagues including the National Crime Agency we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars.”

After being stopped by Border Force, Gala was later questioned by officers from the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) border policing command and charged with attempting to import a Class A drug.

He pleaded guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, where he was sentenced on Thursday February 5.

The NCA is leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, including child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration and fraud and cyber crime.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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