One such seizure led to police recovering 99 kilograms of heroin.
UK police have arrested a man suspected as the head of an international drug syndicate. Nicknamed as Sultan, he allegedly had involvement in the manufacturing and distribution of narcotic drugs.
58-year-old Muhammad Asif Hafeez became detained after police arrested him on 25th August 2017. The incident took place at a North London address.
Pakistani national Sultan’s arrest follows an investigation by National Crime Agency (NCA) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In the US, he faces charges of conspiring to import drugs.
The investigation suspects the 58-year-old as the head of a global drug network. It supposedly spanned across Europe, Africa, Asia and the US.
Police also believe he agreed to import narcotics into the US, since at least 2013. This included heroin and crystal meth.
During the investigation, police seized large quantities of drugs related to Sultan’s network. One seizure led to them recovering 99 kilograms of heroin and the arrest of four men, who later became extradited to the US in 2017.
They also recovered 18 tonnes of ephedrine in a separate incident in India. In addition, the investigation learnt that many members of the syndicate referred to Muhammad Asif Hafeez as the Sultan.
The 58-year-old appeared before Westminister Magistrates’ court on 25th August 2017. Extradition proceedings have now begun where police will take him to the US for his charges.
Martin Huxley, an NCA branch commander, said: “This is a hugely significant arrest of a man suspected of being the head of a global drug production and distribution network, with links across Asia, Europe and North America.
“Because of the scale of the criminality alleged here, this is an international investigation and the NCA has worked extremely closely with our partners in the US and UK.
“The organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking at this level fuel violence and exploitation at every step, from the locations overseas where drugs are farmed and produced right through to the dealers on UK street corners.”
Russell Nicholson, acting as Sultan’s defence lawyer, claimed that his client had become a victim of mistaken identity. He also requested for the 58-year-old’s bail as he had no previous convictions and could offer £100,000 security.
However, the judge refused to grant him bail.