While smuggling is a staple of Hollywood blockbusters, from the global transport of heavy weapons in Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage, to cocaine trafficking in Martin Scorsese’s, Goodfellas, the reality of smuggling is rarely flattering, with the culprits often portrayed as idiots in the media.
For example: a would-be cocaine smuggler was arrested at Newcastle Airport earlier this year, after locking himself in his own car, a feat that most would consider impossible, given that he had the keys on his person.
With airport security at its most paranoid in recent memory, pending a possible review in the coming months, smugglers are being captured at a prodigious rate, carrying such bizarre items as seahorses, boa constrictors, rare eggs, and even three alligators – possibly the last thing you would want to hide in your underpants.
Yet, audacious and ridiculous smuggling schemes happen every day, with one of the most recent occurring at Bristol Airport earlier this year. Liam Dimond, a 20-year-old male from Patchway, Bristol, was reportedly caught trying to bring an “arsenal” of weapons through his local airport, according to newspaper, the Evening Post.
Liam had been travelling back from a holiday in Bulgaria with his parents when customs officers discovered the haul.
The items, which were all melee weapons, barring a few throwing stars and a stun gun, included knuckle-dusters and flick knives, some of which were disguised as mundane items, such as cigarette lighters. The culprit claimed that the weapons, numbering ten in all, were “collection items” destined for his bedroom wall, rather than functional arms.
Owen Strickland, Dimond’s solicitor, said that the defendant had an “interest” in the handheld weapons after “seeing them in films.”
Dimond pleaded guilty to the offence earlier this month, but the case has since been referred to Bristol Crown Court, after a local magistrate ruled that the sheer size of the arsenal, coupled with Dimond’s previous convictions, meant that any sentence would need to be meted out by a judge with greater powers.