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Edi student jailed for trying to smuggle £100k worth of drugs into Scotland

Zixian Long was caught with 10kg of cannabis at Glasgow Airport

A 21-year-old Edinburgh Art student has been jailed, along with her mum, after they attempted to smuggle £100,000 worth of cannabis into Scotland.

Zixian Long was caught with the drugs stash in December 2017, just a day after her mother, Xiaodan Wang, was stopped at Edinburgh Airport carrying 10kg worth of cannabis.

Long and her mother were carrying identical vacuum-packed packages wrapped in towels, which had been flown in from Barcelona.

When questioned, Wang, 51, tried to feign ignorance by telling NCA investigators that she didn't know she'd been carrying the drugs.

The student's mother had made three trips to Spain in the months prior to her arrest, and the bookings were sometimes made using her daughter's contact details. Both women had stayed in the same hotel in Barcelona.

Long and her mother had lived in Scotland for over 10 years, and both women held British passports.

In her trial, the Edi student said: "There was an opportunity to go to Barcelona for free and my mum asked me if I wanted to go with her."

She said the pair spent a week visiting tourist attractions together before her mother asked her to bring back a suitcase with her that had been dropped off at their hotel by a Chinese man.

"She 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."

Long said she is her mother's "only child" and that they "have a tie of love with each other."

NCA Organised Crime Partnership (Scotland) operations manager John McGowan said: "Drug traffickers like Long and Wang are an important part of a chain that organised criminals rely upon to bring their products into the UK and generate profit.

"The profits they make from cannabis can be re-invested, sometimes into other forms organised crime.

"This is why we are determined to do all we can, with partners such as Border Force, to stop them in their tracks and disrupt their supply routes."

Murdo MacMillan, Head of Border Force Scotland, said: "The skills and expertise of our officers have prevented these drugs entering the UK and ending up on our streets.

"Drug trafficking fuels violence and exploitation which is why we work with partners from the National Crime Agency to do all we can to prevent drugs smuggling and bring those responsible to justice.”

The art student was convicted of importing class B drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class B Controlled Drugs at Paisley Sheriff Court after a trial and was jailed for two years on 8 January 2019.

Her mother was sentenced to 32 months in prison at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to importing class B drugs in November 2019.

Featured image: Ad Meskens, via Wikimedia Commons