Brother of suicide bomber protestor jailed for multi-million pound drug conspiracy

18/06/2014

The brother of a man who dressed as suicide bomber in protest over Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Muhammad joined him in jail today, Wednesday, 18 June 2014, for a multi-million pound drug conspiracy.

Mohammed Aleem fled to Pakistan for four years after his brother Omar Khayam, now 31, was arrested for leading a gang that intended to flood Bedford with £2.6 million pounds' worth of heroin.

In 2010 Khayam was jailed for 13 years for heading up the conspiracy. His brother Aleem, 25, formerly of Ford End Road, Bedford was sentenced today at St Albans Crown Court to six years in prison.

Back in February 2006 Khayam, the son of a retired Urdhu teacher, shocked the nation by dressing up as a suicide bomber - just months after the 7/7 bombings in London. Jailing him Judge John Bevan QC described his actions outside the Embassy as "fantastically stupid." The judge went on: "I am told your history has been blighted by one stupid act outside the Danish Embassy and the publicity it received. It was entirely your fault."

His brother Aleem disappeared to a family property in Pakistan, but earlier this year contacted his solicitors saying he wanted to return to the UK and face justice. He returned on 02 April and gave himself up at Bedford police station. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

He was wanted by the police after two officers stumbled across a heroin and cannabis factory in Bishopstone House, Ashburnham Road in Bedford at 8am on 03 December 2009.  They had gone to arrest a man there for an unrelated offence. He was not there, but they noticed powder on the floor and objects covered by large plastic bags. They returned with colleagues a few minutes later and searched the flat.  26.2 kilos of heroin with a high purity of 51 to 54 per cent was recovered, along with 24 and a half kilos of caffeine and 4 and a half kilos of paracetamol to be used as "bash" to cut the drugs. There was also a third of a kilo of crack cocaine with a street value of £17,500 and £124,795 in cash. Mixing bags, scoops, scales, face masks and an hydraulic press were also seized.  The street value of the heroin, once it was cut, was £2.6 million.

CCTV from the previous night showed men arriving at the flat with mixing bowls and the press. They were seen carrying items into the flat in plastic bags - one of the bags bore the logo Superdrug.

Khayam of Ford End Road, Bedford, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine. Another defendant Mohammed Arfaan, now 31, of Chestnut Avenue was also jailed in 2010 for six years after admitting the same charges.

Aleem's fingerprints and DNA were found at the flat and he had been involved in renting it. One of his fingerprints was found on a plastic bag containing the money.

Aleem's barrister Lawrence Selby said he had only been involved in the conspiracy for a day. "He was the younger brother of Mr Khayam and was under cultural pressures. He did it at the behest of his older brother. He went to Pakistan at his mother's request the following day. He was only aged 21 at the time.  He returned to this country voluntarily and made full admissions voluntarily. He had left the country before he had been identified as one of the wanted men." He said Aleem was of previous good character.

In a letter to the judge Aleem said he was sorry and would not be involved with drugs again.

Sentencing him, Judge Barbara Mensah said: "This was a very large drug conspiracy and these matters are taken very seriously by courts.  It is an evil trade. It causes people to become drug addicts and causes society problems as they become involved in crime."

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