A PRESTWICH man who smuggled tens of thousands of tablets into Manchester from Thailand has been jailed.

Anthony Rekia, of Bury New Road, was stopped by Border Force officers at Manchester Airport on August 15 last year.

The 46-year-old told officers he was carrying 600 cigarettes, however, a search of his luggage revealed a holdall within a suitcase containing three different types of pills.

Testing later showed the holdall contained 40,000 Diazepam tablets, also known as Valium; 8,000 Alprazolam tablets, also known as Xanax; and 1,890 Clonazepam tablets, used to treat seizures and panic disorders.

Rekia was found guilty of drug importation and sentenced to 12 months at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.

Jon Hughes, NCA operations manager, said: “Working with Border Force we will continue to disrupt and stop the illegal importation of drugs into the UK.”