£6m heroin smuggler is jailed for 15 years

£6m heroin smuggler is jailed for 15 years

A MAN from Dewsbury was jailed for 15 years for his role smuggling heroin worth £6m hidden in furniture.

Hafiz Akhtar, 34, of Leeds Road, was found guilty after a three-week trial of being knowingly concerned with the importation of Class A drugs.

He was one of three men who conspired to bring 28.5kg of heroin into the UK in April, 2012.

Some of the drugs were found inside a shipping container sent from Pakistan to the Royal Seaforth Docks in Liverpool.

Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard the container was loaded with household furniture.

Further examination found 8kg of heroin had been concealed within boxes of tables.

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers watched as the furniture was delivered to a storage unit in Nelson, Lancashire.

Mohammed Yaqub, 34, and Abdul Wahid, 37, both of Nelson, Lancashire, unloaded the container.

Part of the shipment was then loaded into a hire van and driven to a storage unit in Leeds by Akhtar. A search of both storage units recovered a further 20.5kg of heroin.

If cut and sold in the UK the drugs would have had a potential street value of about £6m.

Yaqub admitted being knowingly concerned in the importation of class A drugs while Wahid admitted conspiring to supply class A drugs.

All three were jailed last week, Akhtar for 15 years, Yaqub for 11-and-a-half years and Wahid for seven years.

Rob Miles, of the NCA, 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.”

Border Force North regional director Tony McMullin added: “This was an intricate concealment.

“Smugglers will always be developing new and more elaborate methods to try to get their illegal products into the UK.

“But we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars.”

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