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.”