A man has been jailed for eight years after being caught smuggling more than £450,000 worth of cocaine into the UK.
Lawrence Izundu, of Nigeria, was caught by customs officials at Newcastle Airport with 4kg of the drug in a suitcase during a flight from Paris.
The 35-year-old admitted trying to smuggle Class A drugs through the airport's "Nothing to Declare" area.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Izundu had become a drugs carrier to try and pay off debts after getting married.
The hearing also heard how he told customs officials that he was honeymooning in Cameroon when he realised his ticket to the UK, via Paris, had expired.
He then said a stranger offered to buy him a ticket if he took a suitcase onto the flight, the hearing also heard.
Judge Beatrice Boulton said: "I am sentencing you as a drugs mule not as a minor role.
"Without drugs mules the illegal drugs trade would not exist."
HMRC Assistant Chief investigating officer Dave Cowie said: "Izundu's version of events was not only suspicious but highly implausible.
"He later admitted that he in fact knew that the suitcase contained drugs.
"He claimed that he was not aware of the quantity or value of drugs and he had committed the crime in order to help pay off debts he had accrued."