Smugglers jailed after airport find

PUBLISHED: 07:37 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 21:19 29 May 2010

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport

Customs officers at Stansted Airport examined a parcel containing car parts – and found nearly 5kg of opium. The wheel trims were carefully made to conceal the packages of raw opium – the basic ingredient of the deadly street drug heroin. The shipment h

Customs officers at Stansted Airport examined a parcel containing car parts - and found nearly 5kg of opium.

The wheel trims were carefully made to conceal the packages of raw opium - the basic ingredient of the deadly street drug heroin.

The shipment had been sent from Turkey through the airport's air-freight service and were destined for an address in London.

Speaking after the sentencing of two smugglers involved, Adrian Robson, head of detection at Stansted, said: "It is most unusual for pure opium to be brought into the UK.

"Normally it will have been put through a chemical process that converts it into heroin.

"The street value of this illegal drug if processed to heroin would have been around £500,000.

"We will continue to target criminals because of the devastating effect the drugs trade can have on our communities. We would encourage anyone with information relating to illegally imported goods, tax evasion and fraud to contact her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) confidential hotline number on 0800 59 5000 or e-mail customs. confidential@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk."

Customs officers worked closely with the Metropolitan Police who arrested and charged two men with conspiracy to import class A drugs.

Londoner Jalil Noorani, 56, was arrested in January and pleaded not guilty, but was sentenced to nine years' jail after a trial at Southwark Crown Court on September 14.

Hossein Yekeh-Sadat, 44, from Paddington, also arrested in January, pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

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