Scot jailed for smuggling £1m of liquid cocaine

The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
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A SCOT agreed to smuggle £1m of liquid cocaine into the country after his once-successful Spanish business empire crashed.

David Thompson was arrested soon after landing at Prestwick Airport in November last year.

Detectives discovered drugs hidden inside oil and wine bottles in his case.

Thompson, 51, was caught after having previously lead an affluent lifestyle with a string of firms, a large home and his children at private school.

But his fortunes nosedived when a pub he ran was hit by a large fire.

A judge heard he turned to Spanish criminals for financial help – before they ordered him to bring drugs to Scotland when he could not repay the cash.

Thompson is now behind bars after he was jailed for four years at the High Court in Glasgow.

Detectives acting on a tip-off swooped on November 5 last year after Thompson arrived on a flight from Reus in northern Spain.

Officers detained Thompson and found what appeared to be two bottles of olive oil and two bottles of wine in his suitcase.

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire said: “The liquid in the bottles appeared to be more dense than expected and that this was due to the suspected controlled drugs being concealed within the liquid.”

One of the olive oil bottles was tested before the liquid inside was poured out and allowed to evaporate at room temperature.

This eventually transformed into a white powder, which was cocaine.

Similar tests were carried out on the other bottles, They all tested positive for cocaine with an average purity of 77 per cent.

Miss Maguire told the court that the potential value for the drugs recovered – totalling 2.7kg - was just over £1m.

Liam Ewing, defending, said Thompson had left Scotland 20 years ago and had been involved in a number of successful businesses.

Thompson – who had been living in Tarragona in Catalonia – latterly ran a number of bars with one recently hit by a large blaze.

Mr Ewing said insurers then refused to cover Thompson’s losses leading to money problems.

The court heard Thompson then set up a tour bus firm and an airport transfer company, but these were hit by the economic downturn in Spain.

Mr Ewing went on: “In his efforts to raise finance he then made a serious error of judgement of borrowing money from, let’s say, patrons at one of his bars who were known to him.”

Thompson was later pressured into re-paying the cash and – when he could not – he was told the debt would be wiped if he brought drugs into the UK.

Mr Ewing said Thompson had gone from “considerable affluence” to “letting his family down”.

Thompson admitted to a charge of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Lord Boyd said the jail-term would have been six years, but for the guilty plea.

The judge told Thompson: “The trafficking of class A drugs is a vile and evil trade.”