12:14pm Friday 15th December 2006
By Jennifer Sugden
Three men have been jailed for a total of 30 years for taking £500,000 of heroin to an unknown Mr Big' in Bradford.
Father-of-five Sarabjit Nanglu, 37, Waine Evans, 41, and Waqar Saeed, 18, were jailed after they were caught with the drug in a car on the M1 motorway.
Nanglu, of Raynor Avenue, Bradford, was driving the Peugeot back to Bradford when it was stopped by traffic police in July.
Twenty heroin packages weighing 10 kilos were found in the boot of the car and Nanglu had £1,000 in cash on him. In the car with him was Evans, of Hendford Drive, Bradford, and Saeed, of Boynton Terrace, Bradford.
The gang had been followed from the Elephant and Castle, south London, where they had arranged to collect the heroin from a gang who had been kept under surveillance by the Metropolitan Police.
Mobile phone records showed the men had been in contact between each other as well as their "controller", known as Mr Big, who has not yet been caught, the court was told.
Prosecutor David Lees said the accused had received a number of calls on their mobile phones from Mr Big after their arrest.
He said the controller was probably trying to find out where they were and was worried about what was happening.
Judge Richard Bray yesterday sentenced Nanglu to 14 years' imprisonment at Northampton Crown Court.
He had denied possession with intent to supply but was convicted by a jury in under ten minutes earlier this week following a trial.
Evans and Saeed pleaded guilty to the charges and received eight-year terms.
Passing sentence, Judge Bray told Nanglu: "You knew perfectly well that this was a very large consignment of class A drugs.
"The message must continue to go out that those who assist in the distribution of substantial quantities of drugs must expect severe sentences."
He told Evans: "You say you thought the drugs were cannabis but the fact of the matter is, you carried this box into the car and could quite easily have looked in it.
"You were happy to act as a courier of the drugs being reckless as to what was being carried.
"Those who act as couriers are to be treated in the same way as importers. This was a very large consignment."
The court heard how Nanglu, who was arrested with £1,000 cash in £20 notes, was to pay Evans and Saeed £250 each for joining him on the pick-up run from Bradford to London and back again.
Nanglu, who sacked his legal team after being found guilty, told the judge: "I've got five kids to think about. My mother and father are both seriously ill and out of work. My father's had two strokes and my mother has got arthritis. Things are going to be difficult."
John Lloyd-Jones, for Evans, said: "He enjoys a drink or two and was being paid £250 for sitting in the car.
"This is a man tempted by others but not a man normally involved in drugs other than on this occasion."
Lee Karu, for Saeed, said he was working as a security guard being paid £1 an hour and was studying for a diploma to became a probation officer.
He said: "He has been told never to get in touch with his family again and when he is released to never go back home. The price he will pay is heavy."
After the case, Detective Constable Ian Hollyoake, of the Northampton criminal investigation unit, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this case. It showed how traffic officers can play a full part in the fight against serious organised crime."
Hertfordshire officers were alerted to the silver Peugeot travelling north on the M1 and the vehicle was later stopped by them.
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