Tag Archive: drug smuggling

£6m heroin haul hidden in furniture

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BEHIND BARS: Hafiz Akhtar was sentenced to 15 years in prison

BEHIND BARS: Hafiz Akhtar was sentenced to 15 years in prison

Tables have turned for drug smuggling group

A £6 million haul of class-A drugs, found hidden in furniture in Liverpool, has landed three would-be drug smugglers lengthy prison sentences this week.

Hafiz Akhtar, Mohammed Naeim Yaqub and Abdul Wahid were jailed for a combined total of more than 33 years after a huge shipment of heroin was discovered back in 2012.

Border Force officials made the find when searching a shipping container from Pakistan at the Royal Seaforth Docks in Liverpool.

The container appeared to be stocked with furniture, yet after further inspection, 8kg of heroin was found concealed in boxes.

It was being delivered to a storage unit at Hendon Mill in Nelson, Lancashire, on 14th May 2012, where a search of the premises, alongside another in Leeds, recovered a further 20.5kg of heroin.

Akhtar, 35, of Leeds Road, Dewsbury, was found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin after driving a hired van filled with some of the furniture to a storage unit in Leeds.

He was handed the longest sentence of 15 years at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Yaqub, 34, and Wahid, 37, both from Nelson, Lancashire, were also jailed for 11-and-a-half and seven years respectively.

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 we helped stop these dangerous drugs finding their way to the streets.

“Smugglers will always develop new and 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.”


Scar Tissue

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Child trafficking is a tragic epidemic, which has spread around the world but is particularly prevalent throughout Asia, where less value can be put on a life, than the value of money that life may be worth to another.

In India alone the numbers involved are enormous.

The target is more often from the poorest part of the community and where young girls are involved they are more likely to be forced into prostitution by criminal gangs.

These gangs operate, seemingly with impunity, at times with the collusion of those who are paid by the state to protect its citizens, and of course are ultimately funded by the ‘citizens’ themselves who use the services of such gangs to pander to their needs.

These girls are not seen as human beings but rather as commodities to be traded.
Factor in corruption among the authorities, and it is easy to see how difficult it can be to prevent girls from being taken in the first place, but also how near impossible it is for those who are abducted into this form of life to be found, rescued and rehabilitated.

In ‘Scar Tissue’ the author, David Skivington uses the story he has created to transport the reader through a narrative that portrays a harrowing account.

The narrative is of one girl who is abducted, and the struggle that her British father faces as he pursues the criminal gang behind her kidnapping. But could he be an accomplice of those who took the child? That is what his English wife Rachel is led to believe when, in a single phone call, her entire life unravels in a terrifying way, totally beyond her imagination.

Transported to a dingy basement in Kolkata to identify the body of her murdered husband, she has no explanation for his presence in India. As she searches for answers about who the man she married really was, she finds his death surrounded by allegations of drug smuggling, child trafficking and murder.

Unsure of what is true and who she can trust, Rachel has no idea of the danger in which her husband's hidden life has placed her.

David Skivington

David Skivington

About the author

David completed an MA in Development Studies in which he explored the cause of many social issues.

His studies focused particularly on the caste system in India.

After this he trained as a teacher and taught RE in the UK for three years.

David and his wife, Bee, are now working as a volunteers, teaching English to children in a rural orphanage school in Andhra Pradesh, South East India.

David loves being immersed in different cultures and has used his experiences in India to craft his debut crime thriller novel, which is set in Kolkata.

His novel looks at the prejudice faced by the Dalit caste and also the cruelty of human trafficking.