Prague/Hong Kong, Jan 23 (CTK) – An elderly Czech man, who was caught at the Hong Kong airport with three kilogrammes of cocaine in his luggage, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for drug smuggling, the public Czech Radio (CRo) reported on Tuesday, adding that the man pleads innocent.

The Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed the verdict. The man spent more than one year in custody in Hong Kong, its spokesman Michaela Lagronova said.

The pensioner, in his late 60s, claims he did not know he had cocaine in his suitcase which he had allegedly received as a gift.

The Hong Kong police say he brought the cocaine from Latin America.

In August 2017, another Czech man, 63, was punished for cocaine smuggling to 27 years. The two men flew to Hong Kong separately.

Since the Czech Republic and Hong Kong have signed an agreement on the extradition of Czechs to their homeland, Czech convicts may be moved to a Czech prison after some time.