Felixstowe: Sailor faces �400k smuggling charge

FELIXSTOWE: A sailor is today facing drug smuggling charges after it was alleged he attempted import cocaine valued at �400,000.

Siviwe Luma was arrested by UK Border Agency officers after he arrived at Felixstowe docks as part of the crew on a container ship travelling from Africa.

The 34-year-old South African national appeared before magistrates at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich accused of two offences.

Prosecutor Lesla Small outlined brief details about the allegations during the first hearing of the case.

The court heard Luma was charged with two counts of importing a Class A drug.

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The total weight of the drugs involved was said to be six kilogrammes.

Luma is expected to face a trial after denying the importation charges.

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He was remanded in custody until his next appearance via a video link before the same court on May 19.

It is expected there will be a further hearing on July 8 when the case is expected to be committed to Ipswich Crown Court.

UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials have confirmed they arrested Luma after three kilos of cocaine were alleged to have been discovered in a rucksack.

The remaining three kilos are alleged to have been found on the ship.

The value of the drugs is said to be estimated at �400,000.

Luma was detained at around 12.35pm on Wednesday.

The ship is understood to have originally begun its journey to Felixstowe from West Africa.

It is alleged the cocaine haul was discovered following searches of the ship and crew.

After his arrest Luma was taken to Ipswich police station for questioning.

He was remanded into custody until his appearance before Ipswich magistrates on Friday.

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