Justin Yang's client acquitted of cocaine trafficking in South American drug cartel case.

27 March 2024

Justin's client, an Argentinian national, was intercepted at London Heathrow Airport in June 2023 with 160 packages of cocaine inside her colon. She was identified after testing positive for cocaine on ion swab tests which was carried out on various surfaces of her belongings.

She was traveling from Brazil, and transiting through London to her final destination in Japan. She was indicted with the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition by bringing into the UK a controlled drug, namely cocaine hydrochloride.

The Crown's case included phone downloads, which revealed audio and text messages that purported to show the Defendant's willingness and consent in trafficking cocaine for financial gain. It also showed that she had been selling cocaine at the street level in Argentina.

Justin combed through 33,881 pages of served text material on her phone to support a defence of modern slavery founded on compulsion attributable to debt bondage and human trafficking. He carefully navigated the difficulties surrounding expert evidence following R v Brecani [2021] EWCA Crim 731. He successfully adduced expert evidence on female drug mules in international drug trafficking to assist the jury.

After an 8-day trial at Isleworth Crown Court, the jury unanimously acquitted the Defendant.

Justin was instructed by Ghalib Masood of Fraser Masood Solicitors.

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