LIVERPOOL-Three men have been jailed after they were caught smuggling millions of pounds worth of heroin in tables.
Border Force officers made the discovery when they searched a shipping container at Royal Seaforth Docks in Liverpool. The container from Pakistan appeared to be loaded with household furniture but further inspection found that 8kg of heroin had been concealed within boxes of tables. The consignment was delivered to Mohammed Naiem Yaqub, 34, at a storage unit at Hendon Mill in Nelson, Lancashire, on May 14 2012. Yaqub and Abdul Wahid, 37, also from Nelson, offloaded the furniture into the storage unit.
Some of the goods were then transferred into a hired van which Hafiz Akhtar, 34, from Dewsbury, Yorkshire, drove to another storage unit in Leeds. A search of both storage units recovered a further 20.5kg of heroin from the furniture, with a combined potential street value of £6 million. Yaqub, from Castle Street, was jailed for eleven-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to conspiring to supply Class A drugs. Fellow plotter Wahid, of Charles Street, was sentenced to seven years after he too pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing while Akhtar, of Leeds Road, was jailed for 15 years after he was convicted by a jury.
Rob Miles, head of the National Crime Agency's (NCA) Manchester border investigation team, said: "These three men were involved in the conspiracy to import large quantities of heroin into the UK. "I have no doubt that had they not been stopped, those drugs would have ended up being sold on UK streets."
Tony McMullin, regional director of Border Force North Region, said: "This was an intricate concealment but thanks to the vigilance of our Border Force officers in Liverpool we helped stop these dangerous drugs finding their way to the streets of the UK. "Smugglers will always be developing new and more elaborate methods to try to get their illegal products into the UK and detections such as this are a real testament to our officers' expertise. Working closely with law enforcement colleagues at the NCA we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars."
AsianImage.UK - May 20, 2016
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