Anti-smoking law snares French drug smuggler
21 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — A man who carelessly drew police attention to himself by lighting a cigarette in a no-smoking zone in Rotterdam’s central train station on Wednesday has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle 2.3 kilos of heroin to France.
The 26-year-old man from the French city Lille was planning to take the international train to Paris — and but for his cigarette “addiction” he would probably have escaped detection.
He was in the waiting room on a platform when he saw two police officers nearby. To calm his nerves, he lit up a cigarette, police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek told Dutch news agency Novum Nieuws.
Unfortunately for him, new regulations which came into force in the Netherlands on 1 January prohibit smoking in most areas of train stations. Smokers can only indulge their habit at designated ‘smoking poles’.
The officers approached the man and told him he would have to pay a fine for contravening the anti-smoking regulations. Asked to identify himself, the man promptly produced a false passport.
He was arrested and a body search revealed the drugs hidden under his clothes.
The man was taken into custody and the international train travelled to France without him.
If he had waited until he boarded the train, he could have smoked aws much as he liked in a smokers’ carriage as the Dutch regualtions do not apply to international trains.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + French news