Drug smuggler jailed for six years

19/08/2013

A 45-year-old man has been sentenced to six years after he pleaded guilty today at Warwick Crown Court to trying to smuggle over £500,000 worth of illegal class A and class C drugs into the UK.

Nasir Mahmood Sabir-Malik had flown into Birmingham International Airport on a flight from Pakistan via Dubai on 21 March 2013. As his baggage was being transferred from the hold of the aircraft to the luggage collection area, a United Kingdom Border Force drugs sniffer dog alerted its handler to Sabir-Malik's suitcase.

The defendant collected his suitcase from the carousel and proceeded to exit the arrivals terminal through the green channel for those with nothing to declare. It was at this point he was stopped by custom officers and challenged with regards to the content of his luggage.

On searching the suitcase, officials found an organic slab weighing over eight kilogrammes of heroin mixed with diazepam with a street value of £506,250.

Sabir-Malik was arrested and charged with two counts of fraudulent evasion of a prohibition.

Sarah Hammond, Acting Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said:

"The CPS and our partners in the criminal justice system are working together with our custom and border colleagues to ensure that those caught trying to smuggling into the UK illegal and prohibited substances are dealt with in a robust manner.

"Nasir Sabir-Malik was caught trying to smuggle over eight kilos of heroin into the UK. When arrested, he claimed that he was carrying the bag for a friend, and he had not packed the bag and therefore had no knowledge of what it contained.

"However, today, he has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent evasion of a prohibition.

"We hope that today's verdict sends out a clear message to all travellers to remain vigilante at all times with their bags. They should never accept to bring luggage or other items from people that they do not know as you never know what the contents of the bags may be. If it is something illegal or prohibited, then it will be you who will be arrested and prosecuted."