England

Heroin worth £37m smuggled into UK in a Jaguar, jury hears

Jaguar with drugs Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Luton Crown Court was told the car could not have been driven and drugs were hidden throughout, including in its bumpers, engine and dashboard

Heroin with a street value of more than £37m was "rammed" into a battered X-type Jaguar and smuggled into the UK from Pakistan, a jury has heard.

Luton Crown Court was told 316 packets of the drug were found in the car when police examined it.

Israr Khan, 35, of St Ethelbert Avenue, Luton and Noman Qureshi, 32, of Bracken Hill Mews, Bradford, deny conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Mohammed Safder, 43, of Sidney Elson Way, East Ham, denies the same charge.

Prosecutor Gordon Aspden said the three men were unaware they had been under surveillance by officers from the National Crime Agency since November.

He told the jury the car arrived at Felixstowe port in a container ship on 1 December.

Defendants 'spooked'

Documents were prepared in Karachi which claimed the car was being imported to be repaired, the court was told, and it was taken to a repair business in Hayes, Middlesex, on 6 December.

The jury heard that before work could commence, the car was delivered by low-loader to a garage in Ley Street, Ilford.

It was met by the three defendants, who were "very, very jumpy", Mr Aspden said in court.

The low-loader driver was told to take the Jaguar to Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, where Mr Safder's brother owned a garage, the court heard.

The jury was told National Crime Agency officers watched the car being unloaded at around midnight on 6 December, but Mr Khan and Mr Qureshi were "spooked" and drove off, leaving the Jaguar, packed with heroin, on the garage forecourt.

Bedfordshire Police arrested the two men that night, and Mr Safder was arrested in February.

Mr Aspden said: "The Jaguar was rammed with drugs. There were 316 packets of drugs... the strength was extraordinarily high at 79%.

"It had a potential street value of over £37m."

The case continues.

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