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Five-strong drugs gang jailed for 109 years
2:21pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
Five men, including three Bradford men, have been jailed for a total of 109 years for their part in a sophisticated plot which saw heroin worth more than £9m smuggled into the UK in bottles of baby powder sent through the post.
Jailing the quintet yesterday at Leeds Crown Court for between 19 to 25 years Judge Christopher Batty said heroin brought misery to thousands of people.
“Heroin is a highly dangerous addictive substance. People who peddle it can expect long sentences, those who import it and flood the streets of this country with it can expect to go to prison for even longer,” he said.
During a 10 week trial the jury heard how parcels were originally sent from post offices in Bradford to Pakistan using a recorded or tracked service.
Once they arrived accomplices there opened them and replaced the contents with plastic bottles of Johnson’s baby powder manufactured in Thailand, which had heroin packages inserted inside.
Jailing Khalid Mahmood, 30 of Low Lane, Clayton, Bradford for 25 years, Judge Batty said he was satisfied he had played a leading role in the conspiracies concerned.
Faisal Khan, 30 of Burnett Avenue, Marshfields, Bradford was jailed for 21 years after the judge described him as Mahmood’s trusted ally having made at least two trips to Pakistan.
Yasser Uddin, 31, of Clifton Villas, Manningham, Bradford was also jailed for 21 years.
He was a postman and trusted friend of Mahmood, who used his knowledge of the Royal Mail system to keep tabs on the packages.
Fiaz Ahmed, 31, of Cambridge Street, Oldham, was jailed for 23 years after he was described as playing a leading role in the operation, dealing with the heroin once it arrived in the UK. Police found over £2,000 in cash and a Rolex watch at his home.
Usman Bari, 33 of Middleton Court, Hull, was jailed for 19 years. The judge said he had been the “eyes and ears” at the Hull end of the operation.
All five were found guilty by the jury of conspiracy to import class A drugs, conspiracy to supply and conspiracy to launder the proceeds.
A sixth man, Mahmood’s brother Azhar, 28 of Upper Kipling Close, Bradford who was convicted on a money laundering charge was given a 10 months jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.
The court heard he was under surveillance when he went to Leicester and collected £38,000 in cash.