19 Britons held after drugs find in Jamaica

Nick Allen
Friday 22 November 2002 01:00

Nineteen Britons have been arrested at an airport in Jamaica allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 800kg (1,800lbs) of marijuana back to the UK on a charter flight.

The group, including eight women, were stopped as they tried to board an Air 2000 flight to Gatwick and Manchester at Montego Bay.

Several children were with the group and were taken into care by the Jamaican authorities as their mothers and fathers, who are all from London, were questioned.

The drugs recovered were worth an estimated £200,000 and were allegedly found in the group's luggage when they were stopped two days ago. They have now been charged with possession and attempted trafficking.

Drug dogs found the marijuana in 37 suitcases which are alleged to have been checked in by the group. If convicted, the Britons face several years in jail.

Last night, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Consular staff are on the ground to ensure they receive full assistance. We are especially concerned about the children involved. We are locating their next of kin."

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