A man has appeared in court for using cats to smuggle heroin with a street value of £750,000 through Heathrow airport.

Staff at the Heathrow Animal reception Centre raised the alarm after they noticed one of the crates was unusually heavy when empty, last Friday (21).

Border Force officers were called in and examined the crates and found packages of powder concealed in the base, which tested positive for the class A drug.

In total 15 kilos of the drugs were discovered hidden in three crates which were being used to transport the live domestic cats.

A man was arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators when the cats were collected.

Cats used in heroin smuggling attempt - Heathrow
 

Paul Bolton, from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, said: “This was an unusual concealment and if sold in the UK the heroin would have had a value of in excess of £750,000.

“Working with Border Force we will continue to target those who attempt to bring illegal drugs into the UK and do damage to communities.”

The cats are now being reunited with their owners.

Border Force Heathrow director Marc Owen added: “Border Force works closely with law enforcement colleagues, including the NCA, to prevent drug trafficking and do all we can to put those responsible behind bars.

“Those who engage in drug smuggling should be in no doubt that they will be targeted and brought to justice."

Scott Parker, 43, a London-born dual national now resident in Gauteng, South Africa, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court last Saturday (22), charged with importing a class A drug.

He has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance at Isleworth Crown Court on December 4.