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Drugs mule who swallowed 1kg of cocaine jailed but will be out in two years.. and it's not a record

A DRUGS mule who swallowed 99 packages of cocaine weighing more than one kilogram before he flew into the UK could be out in just two years after being jailed for four years.

Jean Da Silva Oliveira, 22, tried to smuggle the class A drugs from Sao Paolo in his native Brazil.

He landed at Heathrow Airport on Saturday September 5 and was stopped by Border Force officers.

Following inconsistencies in his account he was arrested and a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation began.

Oliveira – who had claimed he was in the UK for nearly a month as part of a “dream” visit – was x-rayed and the large number of packages were revealed.

He was kept in custody until all 99 packages had been passed – which totalled 1.18kg at 82% purity.

The drugs’ street value was around £100,000.

Oliveira pleaded guilty on September 10 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court to trafficking class A drugs into the UK.

He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court late Thursday afternoon (October 8).

NCA operations manager Ian Truby said: “Illegal drugs are the cause of much violent crime, exploitation and a lot of misery.

“Through our work with partners at home and abroad we are combating the threat drugs trafficking poses to the UK.”

NO PUN: Expert drug witness Ian Broughton said 'large man' swallowed 1.4kgs (Ian Broughton/Linkedin)

Ian Broughton, the Met Police's lead drug expert witness, said on Linkedin: "That’s a lot to swallow - no pun intended. The most a swallower can typically manage is around 800 grams, although I once encountered a very large gentleman who managed just under 1.4 kilograms! Great job, well done."

But, couriers like Oliveira are coming into European airports daily with only a few caught, according to

Tony Saggers, the NCA's former head of drug threat and intelligence replied: "I think the record (from anecdotal reports) is 2.1 kilos.

"I sat with a swallower courier in Lagos airport, Nigeria who had swallowed 1.7 kilos. The last pellet would barely swallow as he was so backed up with 24 hours of investing.

"He was ankle chained to the commander's desk as the cells were full with couriers. As we know Ian, this is likely a daily occurrence into the UK, certainly into many European airports every day."


Frank Matthews is the online pseudonym of a former Met Police Detective Sergeant who left after blowing the whistle on racism, corruption and failings at New Scotland Yard.

He specialised in Investigation of Homicide, firearms, serious and organised crime, informants, witness protection and covert policing. He now campaigns for global drugs law reform saying the war on drugs is not working and allowing criminals to thrive. Linkedin @lamplightercop

"At a cost in excess of £50k per annum to incarcerate a prisoner in the UK and accepting he will only serve two years one could do some perverse maths and argue it would be better for the British Government to buy the drugs direct from the Cartel (at a favourable rate) and do away with the supply altogether.

Or, of course, they could consider a form of regulation which would include some honest and sensible debate around the use of drugs in our Society. I know which one I and most sensible people would choose."


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