First picture of Wren accused of stowing £5m cocaine on warship

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A Royal Navy Wren smuggled cocaine worth £5million into the UK on a warship after a tour of duty in South America, a court heard yesterday.

Teresa Matos, 36, is said to have stashed 26lb of the drug in her locker on board HMS Manchester.

She was arrested in Plymouth after the cocaine was found in packages sewn into vests and around rucksacks.

Matos, who has served in the navy for two years, is believed to have been targeted after a tip-off to Royal Navy police.

The drugs haul would have a street value of £5million once it was ‘cut’ or bulked out with additives.

Matos, an Angolan, is understood to have arrived in Britain from Africa with her sister five years ago. She joined the navy after gaining UK citizenship.

She settled in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. However, her neighbours said they rarely see her because she is often at sea. Matos, an Angolan, is understood to have arrived in Britain from Africa with her sister five years ago. She joined the navy after gaining UK citizenship.

Her latest tour in HMS Manchester involved anti-drugs training in a part of the world renowned for its narcotics industry.

While she was there, Matos did charity work and spent time with children from an orphanage in Peru.

The Royal Navy website describes her as ‘Logs CS Matos’, referring to her role in logistics and the catering service.

It tells how she was proud to help renovate buildings in Rio de Janeiro, halfway through the ship’s seven month deployment.

She is quoted as saying: ‘I really enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to doing some similar charity work not only in Brazil but in other countries.’

Yesterday, Matos spoke only to confirm her name when she appeared via videolink from custody.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard Matos joined the Navy in 2007 and had an ‘unblemished record’.

She had spent the last seven months at sea in HMS Manchester, which stopped off in the Falklands,

Peru and Brazil before visiting Colombia’s Caribbean coast for anti-drug training.

After her arrest the investigation was handed over to the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which has since arrested three civilians from the London area in connection with the find.

They appeared in court in Portsmouth last week charged with the importation of controlled drugs.

Her latest tour in HMS Manchester involved anti-drugs training... A spokesman said: ‘Following a search aboard HMS Manchester, a junior rating was discovered to be in possession of a suspected quantity of Class A drugs.

‘She was arrested by Royal Navy police on August 10 and handed over to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in Plymouth during a planned anchorage.’

He added: ‘This is a quantity indicative of a large criminal enterprise involving many, many people.

‘Taking into account HMS Manchester visited Colombia during its last voyage before entering Plymouth, it seems this is part of an international drug smuggling operation.’

Neighbours of Matos in Gateshead said she had lived there for around four years, during which time she had various jobs including working as a hotel chambermaid.

Albert Bell, 57, said: ‘I have known Teresa for around four years and have become good friends.

‘When she first came here her English was terrible but it has improved immensely.

‘She had not passed her British citizenship test when she arrived but once she did she joined the navy immediately. continues here

So there you have it, a foreigner can enter the country ,apply for nationality and join HMAF almost immediately, aside from the threat to the general public presented by avaricious drug-smugglers ,dealers and suchlike, surely even a fool could see that permitting an unknown individual into HMAF presents as a very great threat to national security. It would seem that “the agenda” supersedes even that and we ,the people are to be placed at severe risk in all areas, certainly this government fails in its duty of care, yet you vote for them…

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