Jailed … Frampton said he was tricked by gangsters posing online as glamour model Denise Milani
But scientist claims he was duped in bikini model honeytrap sting
AN acclaimed British scientist caught smuggling two kilos of cocaine at a South American airport has been jailed for almost five years.
Professor Paul Frampton, 68, claimed he was duped into carrying the drugs in a honeytrap sting involving a bikini model.
But the Oxford-educated academic was sentenced to four years and eight months in an Argentinian prison after being convicted of drug trafficking.
He was arrested in January after being stopped at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, where cops found the drugs wrapped in gift paper inside Frampton’s suitcase lining as he tried to board a plane to Peru.
The divorced physicist told police he had been tricked into carrying the drugs by gangsters who posed on the internet as 32-year-old glamour model Denise Milani. Speaking after his arrest, he said: “Perhaps I should have realised earlier but the fraudster was very good and very intelligent. ”For 11 weeks I thought I was chatting with an attractive woman.”
Frampton, who was teaching at the University of North Carolina, said he first travelled to La Paz, Bolivia, where he thought he was going to meet Miss Milani, a former Miss Bikini World, for the first time. In La Paz, he claims to have met a middle-aged man in a hotel who gave him the suitcase, saying it belonged to Miss Milani.
The following day he travelled to Buenos Aires and was instructed to fly to Brussels to meet the model. But after waiting 36 hours at the airport for “her” to send him an electronic ticket, he said he decided to head back to the US via Peru.
Frampton, originally from Kidderminster, Worcs, was convicted after prosecutor Mario Villar read out emails and text messages which the professor had sent his “girlfriend”. According to local reports, the correspondence included the phrases: “I’m worried about the sniffer dogs”, “I’m looking after your special little suitcase” and “In Bolivia this is worth nothing, in Europe it’s worth millions”.
The prosecutor also showed the court a note written by the scientist reading “1grm/200US$. 2000grms/400000U$S”. Model miss Milani, who was completely unaware she was being used as a honeytrap, has since spoken of her shock at being dragged into the sting.
The scientist’s ex-wife, Anne-Marie Frampton, 71, has described him as being “a naive fool”. They divorced four years ago after 15 years of marriage but remain close friends. Frampton, who graduated with a double first from Brasenose College, Oxford, suffers from high blood pressure and lung problems, and had been facing up to 16 years behind bars.
His defence lawyer Eduardo Oderigo said: “There were many good reasons to have acquitted him. I set them out in his defence. I am convinced of his innocence.”
- brit jailed for cocaine smuggle (thesun.co.uk)
- Ex-wife defends drug professor who fell for Denise Milani (theweek.co.uk)