A British Man's Been Jailed After Trying to Retrieve His Lost Bag Full of Ecstasy

The 38-year-old, labelled a drug dealer by the state prosecution, wanted to pick up his bag full of 35,000 pills from Ibiza airport but ended up with a six-year jail sentence and £436,000 fine.

by VICE Staff
30 April 2016, 9:37am

(Photo by Edd Westmacott via)

A British man's reportedly been fined £436,000 and sentenced to six years in Spanish prison after being caught trying to pick up his misplaced suitcase full of ecstasy pills from the airport in Ibiza. Once airport authorities asked 38-year-old Ian Francis Smith to open up the bag and found about 35,000 pills inside it, he was arrested.

All of this took place in July last year, but Smith was sentenced late on Thursday. Initially reports had said that the bust, on the 31st of July, had been the biggest drug seizure in Ibiza in 2015 – and prosecutors had originally wanted Smith locked up for more than seven years and fined £850,000 for his crime.

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Here's how everything kicked off. Smith had flown from Amsterdam to Ibiza, and his bag was among a few that didn't make it onto his flight at the time. Rather than let fate take its course and accept that maybe he wouldn't be able to sell the thousands of pills trapped under the watchful eye of airport security, he returned to the airport a week later to claim his bag.

Airport authorities asked to search it, found the seven bags of pills and tested them to learn that they had a purity of about 41 percent to 53 percent. A further search of Smith's rental car uncovered a stash of about £1,500 in cash, "from previous drug deals", according to the prosecution.

Smith's decision-making abilities were said to be fairly diminished at the time, after what was reported in the Spanish press as his decades of drug abuse that had "deficient impulse control".

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Conflicting reports also arose about the specifics of Smith's behaviour in the leadup to his arrest, with the Mail Online reporting that he'd left his bag on the luggage carousel in the airport and local publication Diario de Ibiza reporting that his bag had been lost as he traveled from Amsterdam to Ibiza, and he'd been sent notice of its arrival a few days later in July 2015.

In any case, he's got a few years of jail time ahead. The nine months Smith's spent in custody since his arrest are to be considered when calculating his full prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to his charges.

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