London, May 12 (ANI): Former England cricketer Chris Lewis smuggled over three kilograms of pure cocaine into Britain in Caribbean fruit and vegetable tins that were crammed into his kit bag, a jury heard on Monday.
Lewis, who was once described as the sporting heir to Ian Botham, was stopped at Gatwick Airport in December last year as he returned from a week-long trip to St Lucia.
Customs officers seized five tins inside his Puma cricket bag that contained a brown liquid that smelt of chemicals and was in fact 100 per cent pure cocaine.
The Croydon Crown Court was told that the 41-year-old all-rounder's friend, Chad Kirnon, 27, was stopped 10 minutes later and three tins of the liquid cocaine were seized.
The total street value of the drugs, which weighed 3.37kg, was 140,000 pounds.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Tom Wilkins said both men had masterminded a plot to carry the "valuable consignment" of Class A drugs into Britain.
"The question is, did they know that they were bringing in cocaine?" he said. "They had come from St Lucia together and flown out there together. They knew one another and, the Crown says, they were acting together.
"There's overwhelming evidence each of them knew they were smuggling cocaine when they came back into Gatwick," Wilkins claimed.
When Lewis was told by the officer that he was carrying cocaine, he replied:
"Could there be some mistake?" before refusing to answer police questions.
Earlier, Lewis had said he had been visiting his family, had told the Borders Agency official that he had packed the kit bag himself and was aware of its contents.
The trial, expected to last a week, continues. (ANI)