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Officer found drugs in Czech man’s luggage

The alleged importer of $9.5 million of heroin was on edge after he was detained at the airport, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Susie Williams-Stovell, a customs officer, told the court that Josef Vlcek, then 47, “was sweating and appeared nervous”.

She added: “His chest was heaving fast.”

Ms Williams-Stovell was speaking on the second day of Mr Vlcek’s trial.

She said that she was working at the airport the day Mr Vlcek arrived in Bermuda and that she had conducted an inspection of a suitcase carried by the defendant at about 7.07pm.

Ms Williams-Stovell added: “I saw a bulge in there under the lining.”

She said that Daniel Cardoso, another Customs officer, had cautioned Mr Vlcek.

Ms Williams-Stovell said that she, Mr Cardoso and Mr Vlcek went into a search room, where the bag was inspected.

She added: “We revealed carbon paper so that you could see that there was a package.”

Ms Williams-Stovell said that she saw a brown powder under the paper.

She said that Mr Cardoso then swabbed the outside of the package to test for the presence of drugs.

Ms Williams-Stovell told the court: “In this case it said heroin.”

She said that she and Mr Cardoso left the search room to X-ray the second bag at about 7.55pm.

Ms Williams-Stovell added: “We X-rayed the suitcase and you could see packages on the screen.”

Mr Vlcek, of the Czech Republic, has pleaded not guilty to the importation of about 2.9 kilograms of heroin on September 23, 2017 and possession of the drug with intent to supply.

Detective Constable Shannon Trott said he transported the two suitcases from a secure storage area to the forensic lab at Southside Police Station the day after Mr Vlcek was detained.

Mr Trott said: “I searched the suitcases starting with the smaller bag.

“Upon opening the bag, I saw a package that was blue and silver in colour that had been pierced and an off-white powder was exposed.”

Mr Trott said that he removed the package and placed it in an evidence bag.

The suitcase was also placed into an evidence bag.

The trial continues.

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