"ten lehengas were to be sent to the UK with the drugs"
Pakistani police in Dadyal have arrested a man who was caught with packs of heroin hidden inside lehengas to be sent to the UK.
The man, named as Najam Rafique, is part of an international drugs network which is trafficking drugs to the UK.
A notorious heroin smuggler known as Mushtaq Nawabi, who is hiding in Dubai, is a major part of this international drugs gang.
Police officer Faisal Siddique (SHO) told the media that they received a tip-off that Nawabi has been transporting drugs hidden in lehengas to the UK.
Following information that Najam Rafique will be trafficking drugs in the lehengas, police caught up with him en route on February 27, 2020.
Rafiq was travelling on his motorbike from Sehnsa to Dadyal in Azad Kashmir, carrying a bag with the lehengas concealing the packets of heroin.
After stopping Rafique, they recovered 1.5kg of heroin in the five lehengas he had in the bag.
Mr Siddique from the police revealed more about the smuggling operation. He said:
“In total ten lehengas were to be sent to the UK with the drugs inside them.
“Three of them have already been trafficked to the UK via a family, whom we are tracing, while the remaining two lehengas are in an unknown house in Kotli.”
This bust is one of several raids in order to locate gang members associated with the international drug trafficking group.
Police say that the international drug operation is being masterminded by Hafiz Mansoor Sultani from Kotli, who is residing and hiding in Dubai. He is the son-in-law of Mushtaq Nawabi.
With Sultani, another gang member is also in Dubai, named Habib Shah, an original resident of Pang Peeran in the area of Kotli.
Both Sultani and Shah skipped arrest in 2018 and absconded to Dubai after four other accomplices from the gang were caught with ten leather jackets carrying 8.6kg of heroin, which was to be smuggled to the UK.
During a police press conference, DSP Nadeem Arif and Faisal Siddique stated that the suspects connected with this are extremely clever in how they run the operation.
They target people from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and persuade them to work for them by smuggling the drugs in return for quick money.
Siddique said: “Najam Rafique has received Rs 5 lakhs (£2,500) commission for the ten lehengas from Mansoor Sultani.”
Najam Rafique, who was also presented in front of the media, said that he was lured into this crime by Sultani as he was in debt. Hence, out of desperation, he agreed to smuggle the drugs after Sultani lent him some money.
Siddique and Arif said that a case has been filed against the accused Najam Rafique.
Officer Arif gave a polite warning saying:
“People from the UK need to be very careful when they are asked to take a gift from here for someone in the UK.
“There are bad people working in these kind of gangs who lure people to carry the illegal drugs in the ‘gifts’ for them.”
“Often, the people taking the gifts do not even know what could be concealed inside them.
“When caught you can end up in a lot of trouble with the law both here and the UK.”
Police are carrying out additional searches to find more heroin being trafficked by this gang and any other suspects associated with this gang.