A foreign national was caught attempting to sneak in more than £140,000 cocaine through Newcastle Airport, a court heard.
Boniface Chakka, 43, is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of importing Class A drugs into the UK on a flight from Gambia via Brussels.
Prosecutor Michael Graham said Mr Chakka, who was carrying a German passport, stashed 1.79kg of cocaine in a hidden compartment in a suitcase on March 23, 2012.
But a UK Border Agency officer discovered the drugs during a random check at the security point.
Mr Graham told the court: "One side of the case looked deeper than the other. When the officer checked she removed one side and took out a brown package which contained white powder.
"Scientific examination revealed the powder to be cocaine with a purity of 59 per cent."
The court heard how Mr Chakka was carrying a wallet, a German passport, keys, a mobile phone and two sim cards which were hidden in his clothing.
Mr Graham added: "The phones and sim cards were later analysed. One of the phones showed a text message on March 19, saying ‘Gambia, Brussels, Newcastle’.
"This was clearly the route for him."
Mr Chakka, who lived in Frankfurt, denies the charge, claiming he knew nothing about the drugs.
During interviews he told officers he was a lorry driver and came to the UK to buy clothes which he could later sell.
The trial continues.
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