18/04/2012 10:50 BST | Updated 18/04/2012 10:51 BST

Cocaine-Stuffed Peppers Trafficker Jailed For £13,000 Scam

A drug trafficker has been jailed for attempting to smuggle cocaine-stuffed peppers into the UK.

Sierra Leone national Stanley Okpara, 42, was arrested by Border Force officers when he attempted to collect the drugs which had arrived in a freight shipment to Manchester Airport from Nigeria on February 25.

The peppers - stashed in boxes - were found to contain 200g of the drug which when cut would have a street value of about £13,000, said the Home Office.

Okpara, of Gertrude Close, Salford, was jailed for seven years at Bolton Crown Court yesterday after he was convicted of fraudulent evasion of prohibition by bringing a controlled drug into the country.

Pete Avery of Border Force said: "Cocaine is an evil and addictive drug that ruins the lives of users, their families and the wider community.

"Our officers work round the clock and use a combination of the latest technology, sniffer dogs and their own expertise and experience to protect our borders.

"Anyone involved in smuggling illegal drugs can expect to be caught and to pay a heavy penalty, as the sentence handed out shows."