Third man jailed over plot to import £37m heroin in a Jaguar
A garage owner has become the third member of a drug smuggling gang to be jailed over a plot to import heroin in a Jaguar car.
Attique Sami, 44, of Walden Way, Ilford was today found guilty of conspiring to import and supply heroin following a trial at Luton Crown Court and sentenced to 19 years in prison.
His conviction follows the sentencing of two other men, Noman Qureshi, 32, from Bradford, and Israr Khan, 35, from Luton, in October last year who were sentenced to 21 and 18 years respectively.
On the evening of 6 December 2013, Qureshi drove from his home in Bradford, picked up Khan in Luton, and drove to a hotel in Ilford.
Sami arrived in his Porsche 911 to meet with them to discuss where to unload the heroin from the car.
The Jaguar, which had been shipped to the UK from Pakistan, was driven on the back of a low-loader to an address in Dagenham during the early hours of 7 December. Qureshi and Khan met it, but shortly after left the scene. They were arrested later that morning in Luton.
The Jaguar was seized and examined by specialist Border Force search officers who recovered 316 packages of heroin totalling 230 kilos which would have had a potential street value of £37.2 million.
Drugs were concealed within the bumpers, wheel arches, dashboard, central console, spare wheel compartment, engine and rear seat of the vehicle.
Sami was arrested in February 2014. National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators linked him to a phone that had regularly been used to contact Qureshi prior to the heroin importation.
“Every spare bit of space filled with heroin”
NCA Branch Commander David Norris said: “Sami played a crucial part in this conspiracy – his role would have been to recover the drugs concealed within the car.
“This group had international contacts and planned to import hundreds of kilos of high-purity heroin to the UK in what was a quite remarkable smuggling attempt. The car in which the drugs were hidden had virtually every spare bit of space filled with heroin.
“But they were unaware their moves were being monitored by NCA investigators, who prevented them from putting these harmful drugs on the streets.”
Images courtesy: NCA.