Heathrow cocaine smuggling dog turns tail on life of crime

Two-year-old Camila was flown to Heathrow Airport in May by her owner Jorge Pablo Samano Galas. 

But Animal Aircare Reception Centre staff noticed her cage was suspiciously heavy and smelt of paint stripper. 

Further examination of the cage revealed that 10 kilos of cocaine were hidden in a false base. 

Samano Galas, a 43-year-old Mexican national, was arrested and told National Crime Agency (NCA) officers he had bought the dog from a rescue centre in Mexico a few weeks prior, and had booked a holiday in the UK so that they could “bond.” 

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Camila will soon move into a loving new homeCamila will soon move into a loving new home (Image: NCA)An investigation revealed it had cost him £3,000 to ship the dog to the UK and no return journey was booked. 

He eventually pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs and on Friday (November 24) he was jailed for six years and four months. 

Camila has turned her tail on a life of crime and has been looked after by staff at the airport reception centre, one of whom will now become her permanent owner. 

Jake Holliday, head of animal welfare at Heathrow Airport, said: “We decided to foster Camila while the NCA investigation was ongoing to ensure that she was given the love she deserved. 

“It quickly became apparent that she was a friendly, affectionate girl who thrived off meeting new people. 

“Now, after many months, it’s been confirmed that Camila can go home with one of our animal welfare officers, who she adores. 

“We will miss her dearly – not least because her office antics kept us in hysterics – but we are so glad she will be looked after by someone who has been there with her since she first arrived.” 

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Drug smuggler Jorge Pablo Samano GalasDrug smuggler Jorge Pablo Samano Galas (Image: NCA)NCA senior manager Darren Barr said: “This was a cynical attempt to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds of class A drugs into the UK. 
 
“Cocaine smugglers like Samano Galas play a crucial role in the business model of international organised crime groups, and their activities perpetuate violence and intimidation throughout the UK. 
 
“While Samano Galas now faces prison, the story will have a happier ending for his unwitting accomplice Camila, who will spend the rest of her life in a happy home.” 

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