Man on trial over £33m heroin deal

By Terrapinzflyer · Nov 26, 2009 · Updated Dec 19, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Man on trial over £33m heroin deal

    An east London man has gone on on trial accused of playing a part in a drug deal worth more than £33 million.

    Abdul Matalib Shammin Rob, 30, of Ilford, is charged with conspiracy to supply a controlled drug in relation to a proportion of the total haul.

    Police seized 13 boxes from cars at a motorway service station near Maidstone, Kent, in an operation in April last year, Kingston Crown Court in south west London heard.

    They contained heroin weighing 330.7kg (727lb) with a street value of more than £33 million.

    Dutchman Patrick Kuster, who transported the drugs to the UK was convicted of importing all the boxes at a previous trial.

    Rob is alleged to have conspired to supply contents of three of the boxes in the consignment.

    These contained 48.7kg (107lb) of powder - the equivalent of 30.388kg (67lb) if the heroin had been 100% pure.

    The estimated re-sale price was between £2.5 million and £4 million, the court heard.

    Prosecutors allege mobile phone evidence links Rob to others involved in the plan.

    Nov 26 2009

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    The story behind Britain's biggest-ever heroin seizure
    In April last year £30m worth of heroin was seized at a motorway service station in Kent - believed to be the largest amount ever seized by UK police. Who were the gang behind it?

    On 3 April 2008 Patrick Kuster borrowed his mother's car, loaded it with 13 boxes of heroin, weighing a total of 330.7kg (727lb), and drove it through customs at the port of Dover.

    At around 1pm the Dutchman was waved through with his cargo, worth an estimated £33m on the streets of Britain.

    'Smorgasbord' of drugs

    He must have breathed a huge sigh of relief.

    Kuster drove to a service station at Maidstone, where several couriers were due to meet him and pick up part of the consignment on behalf of various syndicates.

    At 3.40pm Kuster's good fortune came to an end when police swooped on him and a man called Harminder Chana, who was collecting on behalf of a London gang.

    A third man, Atif Khan, was arrested later that day.

    Detective Inspector Marion Ryan, of the Metropolitan Police's Central Task Force, takes up the story: "Kuster was not the original object. We were targeting other members of an organised crime network."

    She said Khan and Chana were under surveillance, following intelligence which had been received about them being involved in drug smuggling.

    Det Insp Ryan said: "We were not expecting such a huge amount of heroin in one delivery. The boot was full and the car was laden up to the roof with brown boxes. They were even in the front seat."

    We were not expecting such a huge amount of heroin in one delivery
    Detective Inspector Marion Ryan

    She said: "The purity was quite high and it would have been enough to keep 8,000 addicts supplied for a year."

    This week the final defendant in what became known as Operation Frant, Abdul Matalib Shammin Rob, 30, of Ilford, east London, was convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin.

    Although Rob was not present, mobile phone evidence proved he was part of a syndicate who had bought 48.7kg (107lb) of the heroin, worth around £3m.
    Jeremy Carter-Manning QC, told Rob's trial at Kingston Crown Court: "The imported consignment appears to have been destined for at least three consortia or individuals."

    Kuster was jailed for 26 years but Rob, Chana and Khan will be sentenced on 8 January 2010.

    Mr Carter-Manning said that after Kuster and Chana's arrest, police went to a house in Beckton, east London and found equipment "which was clearly of use in the preparation of large quantities of heroin for onward re-sale and supply".

    Mr Carter-Manning said this included mannitol, a cutting agent for heroin, scales, paper and foil, gloves and a "virtual smorgasbord" of drugs in plastic bags.

    A second "safe house" was later found near London City Airport.

    Rob, who was only arrested in November 2008, had called Khan 26 times in a 45-minute period after Khan's arrest and sent a text which said: "I'm looking so stupid, 4 one hour they keep calling asking how long and I ain't got an answer cos u r not picking up."

    The dealers who Rob had clearly promised his drugs to were clearly not happy with him.

    'Suicide run'

    At his trial Rob claimed his frantic calls were connected to an accident which somebody had suffered at a factory he owned but this story was a fabrication.

    Kuster, a former lorry driver with the Dutch firm Nedexco, had been acquitted previously of another conspiracy in which drugs were smuggled in buckets of mayonnaise.

    But on 3 April 2008 he was just "bluffing his way" through customs, said Det Insp Ryan.

    "He was on a bit of a suicide run," she said, adding that he claimed he had only been paid 500 euros for the trip.

    Det Insp Ryan said: "Rob and Khan were investors who stood to make a lot of money. There were clearly other criminal Mr Bigs who put up money but stayed well clear of the drugs."

    Hearings under the Proceeds of Crime Act will now seek to confiscate assets belonging to Rob and Khan and an investigation is still ongoing in the Netherlands into the supplier.

    Det Insp Ryan said: "It was highly significant because it would have had a huge impact on the organisers. They will have already paid up and it will seriously disrupt their activities."

    By Chris Summers
    BBC News
  2. yonez
    Jesus that's a lot of ponies.
  3. johnnyyen
    Johnny wonders if this was enough to keep 8000 addicts happy for a year,just how much heroin does make it through into the uk to keep the many many thousands of users well?
    he knows from reading on this forum that there were problems last year for some in a dry spell resulting from this seizure...Johnny was lucky,he got without problems all year round....
    so how much gear is coming in...any one have an idea??
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    Men jailed over £33m Kent heroin deal
    Three men have been jailed for their involvement in a £33m drug deal, after the UK's largest ever heroin seizure.

    Harminder Chana, 32, was sentenced to 17 years, Abdul Rob, 30, to 23 years and Atif Khan, 34, to 15 and a half years. All were from east London.

    Police said the 730lb (330kg) of heroin seized in the case would have supplied more than 8,000 addicts for a year.

    Thirteen boxes were held at a motorway service station in Kent in April 2008, Kingston Crown Court had heard.

    At an earlier hearing Patrick Kuster, 37, from the Netherlands, was jailed for 26 years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

    Police said Kuster imported heroin from Holland via Eurotunnel, in the boot of his mother's car.

    He drove to a service station in Maidstone, Kent, where several people were due to meet him and pick up part of the drug consignment, on behalf of various syndicates.

    Information led police to Chana, who was seen driving a car into M20 motorway services near Maidstone to meet Kuster and transfer boxes from one car to another.

    Later, police arrested Khan in Ilford, east London, and found the keys to a "safe house" which led police to more drugs and equipment.

    Items there showed Khan had a business partner called Abdul Rob, who was later accused of arranging and financing three boxes of the imported heroin.
    'Trusted lieutenant'

    Sentencing the men at Kingston Crown Court, Mr Justice Corcoran said heroin was a "pernicious" drug, adding: "It is interesting to note that those higher up the chain seek to distance themselves from the actual importation and handling of the drugs."

    Jailing Chana, he described him as a "trusted lieutenant" in the operation, while Khan was a "middle manager". Khan received a lesser sentence for pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

    He told Abdul Rob: "I suspect you of being higher up the organisation."
    In 2001 Rob was given a nine-year sentence for drugs offences and was released in 2005.

    BBC correspondent Ben Ando said Rob was not directly involved with the collection.

    But he was sentenced on the basis that he had made numerous calls to Khan on the day and evening of the planned drugs handover, before he realised the police had sprung a trap.

    He then sent increasingly panicky and incriminating text messages to Khan.

    *13,273 heroin seizures were made in 2008/9
    *61% of all seizures weighed less than 1g

    Monday, 11 January 2010
  5. mickey_bee
    Swim also wondered about this, so worked it out.

    An average(ish) habit in swim's experience, is around a gram/day of street heroin.

    Working on that basis, this amount of heroin, UNADULTERATED, would be enough to keep ~916 addicts supplied for a year.

    Even if each kilo of this batch was cut to make 3, that would still only be enough to accomodate around 3000 addicts for a year.
    And by today's standards, that would be normal to slightly over-cut heroin.

    As usual, when talking to the media in particular, the police use the highest possible figures to make their estimations.
    Obviously, they want to make their efforts sound as dramatic as possible.
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