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Drugs worth $430,000 hidden in baby items

Drugs discovered hidden in a Southampton man’s luggage were worth more than $430,000, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

A jury heard that 2,957.7 grams of MDMA — also known as ecstasy — was found in a suitcase belonging to 25-year-old Edward Jaloni Albouy.

Those drugs could fetch up to $236,540 if sold on the streets of Bermuda.

Officers also found 1,633.4 grams of cannabis, worth up to $81,650, and 1,209.5 grams of cannabis resin, worth up to $120,000.

Investigators found two DNA profiles on the drug packages, but the court heard Mr Albouy was not a match for either profile.

He has denied charges he imported the controlled drugs with intent to supply.

Detective constable Shannon Trott said that, as part of the investigation, he looked into Mr Albouy’s bank records.

He told the court that on September 2, the day before Mr Albouy returned to Bermuda, his debit card was used to withdraw money from an ATM at a Birmingham branch of the Tesco supermarket chain in the UK.

Under cross-examination by Susan Mulligan, who represents Mr Albouy, Mr Trott said requests were made for CCTV evidence from the store, but he had been told the request was unsuccessful.

He added that it was not unusual for such requests to be fruitless.

Mr Trott said: “During these sorts of investigations we do make overseas inquiries. The results can be a bit of a mixed bag.

“Sometimes we get successful returns and some times we don’t.”

He said the request was made through the National Crime Agency, and no efforts were made through the mutual legal assistance treaty.

Mr Trott explained: “That is a timely, intensive matter to undertake.

“Things like CCTV are generally only kept for a limited amount of time and when we go through that process, we often end up not getting the footage in time.”

The court has heard that Mr Albouy left the island on a flight to London on August 23, 2017, and returned on the evening of September 3, 2017.

He was selected for a secondary search and a customs officer noticed the smell of cannabis when she opened one of his suitcases.

Packages containing drugs were later found hidden in packets of diapers, baby wipes and shirts.

Mr Albouy told customs officers he was “surprised” by the hidden packages and confirmed that he had bought the items from a Tesco.

The trial continues.

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