BERMUDA-COURT-Canadian jailed for importing cocaine

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HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec 2, CMC — A 22-year-old Canadian national man who tried to smuggle nearly US$250,000 worth of cocaine into Bermuda has been jailed for seven and a half years after admitting he made a “big mistake”.
The Supreme Court heard that Raza Mirza was caught as he came through customs at L.F. Wade International Airport with the drugs hidden in the lining of his bag.
He was questioned by customs officers after arriving from Canada on June 9 and claimed he had come to the island for “the carnival”.
Authorities carried out forensic checks on his bag, which showed the presence of cocaine. A search revealed five ziplock bags of cocaine in the lining of the case.
Further analysis confirmed that the bags contained nearly one kilogram of cocaine with a street value of US$233,000.
Police later trawled through the Canadian’s mobile phones, which contained several references to drugs. In one exchange, an individual called Andrew asked him: “Do you move white?”
Mirza replied: “Yes.”
Mirza, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the importation of drugs, told the Court “this was a really big mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking. I am really sorry for what I have done.
“My family is now having to deal with it all now and my mom is very sick. It was sheer stupidity. I was not thinking about what I was doing.”
The Court heard that Mirza had no previous convictions in Bermuda or Canada.
Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe said the number of drug importation cases was “disturbing”.
“One really wonders if the message of the court is being sent out to other offenders. The court must, however, continue to mete out sentences which send a clear and unequivocal message,” the judge added.

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