Heroin smugglers face 40 years in prison.



Drugs smugglers who attempted to import almost 80kg of heroin into the UK disguised as chilli powder have today been told they will face a total of 40 years in prison.

The heroin had been shipped in a single container to the UK from Asia in November 2010. At Birmingham Crown Court today, Gulab Mohammed, 51, was found guilty of importation of a Class A drug. His son Khalid Mohammed, 29, also from Birmingham pleaded guilty to importation of a Class A drug in April 2011.

The SOCA investigation showed that the Mohammeds had used a shipping agency to transport the heroin from Pakistan to the UK. On its arrival at Felixtowe on 3 November 2010, the container was scanned by our officers and found to contain 600 20kg sacks of red chilli powder.
Twelve beige coloured packages were found in one of the sacks near the rear of the container, and when tested, the contents of these were found to be heroin. Six further sacks in the final row of the container also contained quantities of the drug.

SOCA officers substituted the heroin with a safe substance and then sent the consignment, driven by an undercover SOCA officer, to the delivery address, Sewon Enterprise UK Ltd, Bristol Road South in Birmingham.
On his arrival he was met by the Mohammeds who asked him to take the container on to an industrial unit in Whitchurch, Shropshire. After arriving at the unit, the container was subsequently unloaded and the father and son arrested by SOCA officers.

A financial investigation is currently underway.

SOCA’s Trevor Symes said:
“Career criminals like Gulab and Khalid Mohammad look for ingenious ways to traffic drugs. They are determined, but so are we. SOCA’s together with our international and national partners will ensure criminals who traffic drugs will face justice.”
Brian Hill, UK Border Agency Assistant Director at Felixstowe, said:
“This was the biggest single seizure of heroin made in the UK last year. It was attempted drug smuggling on an industrial scale. The men involved stood to make huge profits from their criminal enterprise, but thanks to the efforts of our officers at Felixstowe and our partners at SOCA they are instead facing a long stay behind bars.

“Drug smuggling is a vile business that exploits the misery of others. Heroin destroys lives and it is right that there are heavy penalties for those involved in the trade. The message is clear – if you try to smuggle drugs into the UK we will catch you and bring you to justice.

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