Edinburgh student, 21, jailed for smuggling £100k of cannabis from Barcelona

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A University student sobbed as she was jailed yesterday after being caught bringing drugs worth £100,000 into Scotland in a suitcase.

Zixian Long, an Arts student at The University of Edinburgh, was caught with a suitcase containing 10kg of cannabis at Glasgow Airport last 
Hogmanay.

Long, 21, was returning from Barcelona when she was stopped by Border Force officers, who found ten 1kg vacuum packed bags stuffed with herbal cannabis.

The purple and green vacuum packed bags were wrapped in towels and were inside a suitcase that had been shrink wrapped.

Long denied importing drugs and being concerned in the supply of them and stood trial at Paisley Sheriff Court.

She denied being “knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of controlled drugs” by importing herbal cannabis through the Renfrewshire airport on December 31 last year, in breach of Section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Long also pled not guilty to a drug dealing charge, with prosecutors alleging she was “concerned in the supplying of a controlled drug” – in breach of Section 4(3)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – on the same date.

Giving evidence, Detective Constable Alan Ferguson of Police Scotland’s Statement of Opinion Unit, told the court: “Ten packages were removed from the suitcase.

“Each bag contained 1kg approximately and there were 10kg in total. The total potential value would be £100,000 – that’s based on £10 per 
gram.

“This would be subdivided many times before it got to 1kg deals.

“Wholesale it would be £4,000 for each package or £40,000 total.”

Speaking through an interpreter Long, who moved to the UK around ten years ago, said her mother had asked her if she wanted to go on a trip to Barcelona after being approached online by someone who offered to pay her costs if she brought luggage back.

She explained: “There was an opportunity to go to Barcelona for free and my mum asked me if I wanted to go with her.

“My mum barely travels. I had finished my homework, and it was my last term of 
University.”

Long said she and her mother went to “tourist attractions” in the city, including museums, and a Chinese man dropped off a suitcase for her to bring to Scotland at her hotel.

She explained: “She [my mum] said if I could bring this luggage back for them this time they would pay my trip.

“I wanted to do my mum a favour – I wasn’t thinking too much.

“I just thought, ‘I’ll help someone to take their luggage’. I am her only child and we have a tie of love with each 
other.”

The court also heard that Long did not know the combination of the suitcase lock and told officials it was not hers.

But a jury convicted her of all the charges and Long was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing next month by Sheriff Tom McCartney.

Long started crying when she was told by her defence team that she would be in prison for Christmas.

newsen@edinburghnews.com