It was found to have a street value of at least £2.5 million.
Two men from Walsall have been jailed for 18 years each on Friday, December 14, 2018, at Birmingham Crown Court for smuggling heroin as part of an organised crime group.
Asghar Khan, aged 48, and Rashad Mahmood, aged 52, imported £2.5 million worth of the class A drug into the UK using industrial mincing machines and sewn into women’s clothing.
The court heard that the two men smuggled heroin into the UK from Pakistan using a legitimate cargo company which sent the parcels by air freight.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) uncovered Khan and Mahmood’s elaborate scheme to import large quantities of heroin during a period from September 2014 to April 2015 in which at least four shipments were sent to the UK.
In one operation, Border Force officers found 20 kilograms of heroin within three separate consignments. They took the heroin for forensic examination.
Forensics revealed that the heroin was 62% pure which is more than double the usual street purity of the drug found in the UK.
It was found to have a street value of at least £2.5 million. Two of the drug shipments had been intercepted at Birmingham airport.
Border Force officers found the heroin hidden in a number of sewn-in compartments of women’s clothing items when they opened the parcels in the cargo area.
The final shipment arrived at Manchester airport as part of a consolidated load. It contained industrial meat mincing machines.
Border Force officers found positive indications of heroin which prompted them to examine them further.
They found a series of welded metal blocks within the motors of the machines which contained the heroin.
The NCA launched an investigation after linking the drug shipments from both airports.
Khan was first arrested in 2014 after he had attempted to collect the second consignment. He was arrested again. along with Mahmood, in April 2016 on suspicion of conspiring to import controlled drugs.
Asghar Khan and Rashad Mahmood had both played leading roles in the smuggling of heroin into the UK and each received a jail sentence of 18 years.
Judge Henderson praised the efforts of the NCA for their investigation, describing it as “an exemplary investigation.”
After Khan and Mahmood’s sentencing, NCA Operations Manager Dawn Cartwright said:
“Mahmood and Khan were convicted after overwhelming evidence against them and both played a leading role in the importation of at least four consignments.
“We have punched a major hole in this OCG (Organised crime group) in what Her Honour Judge Henderson described as “an exemplary investigation”.
“Drugs fuel further crime, exploitation and violence. Working with our partners we will make sure drug dealers are stopped and punished.”