Man Accused Of Importing Over $8M Of Heroin

March 7, 2019

[Written by Don Burgess]

Jurors saw a police video interview of a Czech Republic national accused of trying to smuggle over $8 million worth of heroin into Bermuda.

The amount is believed to be the largest heroin seizure in Bermuda history.

Josef Vleck was allegedly caught at the LF Wade International Airport on September 23, 2017. His trial has been delayed until March this year, mainly because of a lack of an interpreter.

In the video interview, Mr Vleck had the aid of an interpreter but was able to answer many of the questions put to him in English, but he did have difficulty understanding some of them.

He had travelled to Bermuda from London, where he was working as a gardener. He had previously taken a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, and had worked in Germany on a recent vacation.

Mr Vleck said on his trip to Bermuda he had only brought $600 in cash and had no credit cards. He also had no reservation at any hotel and expected to find one by just showing up.

He had hoped to supplement the cash he brought with him by finding a job here by going “door to door”. He added that on his vacations when looking for a job, “I always find something.”

The police asked him how he was going to pay for a changed airline ticket if he didn’t find a job and Mr Vleck said he was going to keep $100 aside.

Mr Vleck told police that someone else purchased his plane ticket but didn’t want to name them to get anyone else in trouble.

He also said that he bought a new suitcase between his trip to South Africa and Bermuda at an East London market because it was cheap. Mr Vleck said he didn’t notice anything unusual about the suitcase, and that it felt light.

When Mr Vleck arrived in Bermuda, customs officers allegedly found the heroin in the lining of his suitcase. In the video interview, Mr Vleck said that was a surprise to him, and he thought it was diamonds, gold, and drugs when he saw the x-rays.

The trial continues.

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