A MAN who smuggled cannabis with an estimated street value of £100,000 through a ferry port is behind bars.
Fabian Munoz Cazorla wept as he was sentenced to a year in jail.
The 43-year-old was snared on his arrival at Portsmouth International Port from Bilbao in Spain with 26kg (57 lbs) of cannabis hidden in the fuel tank of a modified Hyundai.
He admitted two counts of being knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of a class B drug on September 5.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Cazorla was in debt and agreed to smuggle the 10.31kg (22.7lbs) of cannabis resin and 15.92kg (35lbs) of herbal cannabis for a man called Paco whom he met in a bar below his flat.
Tammy Mears, prosecuting, said: ‘They started talking about the financial crisis in Spain and Paco offered him a way to make some money.
‘It was clear that was transporting marijuana to another country in Europe. He accepted the offer of 4,000 euros in payment.’
The Hyundai was signed over to Cazorla, who took a woman he had met on the internet with him on the drugs run after it was suggested by Paco to do so ‘for appearance’s sake’.
The court heard Cazorla, from Spain, said the woman had nothing to do with the drugs and he had told her they were going on a holiday.
Miss Mears added: ‘He stated that the vehicle was delivered to him, there was a mobile phone left in the vehicle and that someone would contact him on their arrival in Dublin and the vehicle would be taken from him and then returned two days later.’
His car was stopped and searched at the ferryport where Border Force officers found 34 packages of cannabis hidden in the fuel tank.
Francisca Da Costa, defending, said of Cazorla: ‘He’s certainly at the lowest point in his life today.
‘This has been a hard lesson for Mr Munoz Cazorla.’
Addressing Cazorla, Judge Jonathan Fuller QC, sentencing, said: ‘Miss Da Costa has said you have learnt a heard lesson and this is the lowest point of your life. I accept that and take into account that I can see you are visibly moved and upset by these proceedings.
‘It was against your better nature and better judgement that having got into debt you could not resist the temptation of becoming involved in this enterprise. I have no doubt that you were fully aware of the risk you ran, but you chose to take that risk.’
An order was made for the drugs to be forfeited and destroyed.
The car has also been forfeited.