Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham gang hid £4m heroin in children's clothes

Mugshots of defendants Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Top row, left to right - Shafaqat Hussain, Sakander Riaz, Jason Tremayne. Bottom row, left to right - Andrew Yaqub, Usman Farooq, Umar Farooq

Drug dealers who smuggled £4m of heroin into the UK concealed in children's clothes have been jailed.

Shafaqat Hussain, 40, was the ring leader of the trafficking gang, which saw more than 40kg of the drug imported from Pakistan.

He built a network to help smuggle heroin into the country, hidden inside packages of everyday goods including children's clothes.

Police received information about the drugs while probing another crime.

They intercepted the haul at ports around the UK.

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A quantity of heroin was also found on the streets of Bordesley Green, Birmingham.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption The drugs packages were concealed in children's clothes, including this pair of trousers

An investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency led them to the gang.

Hussain, of Perry Park Road, Rowley Regis, was jailed for 17 years at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday after admitted conspiring to import heroin.

His accomplice Sakander Riaz, aged 35, of Belchers Lane, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, admitted the same charge and was jailed for 13 and a half years.

Three other men were jailed in November and two are awaiting sentence.

'Crimes spanned continents'

West Midlands Police are hoping to recoup the gang's ill-gotten gains through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Cape said: "The group's activities had not been straightforward.

"Their crimes spanned continents and our response required the deployment of sophisticated investigative techniques which we will not reveal to protect future operations.

"As a result of our hard work, drugs destined for the streets of the West Midlands and worth £4 million have been taken out of circulation and seven criminals put behind bars."

The gang and their sentences

  • Customer service agent Shafaqat Hussain, 40, of Perry Park Road, Rowley Regis, jailed for 17 years after pleading guilty to conspiring to import heroin
  • Floor layer Sakander Riaz, 35, of Belchers Lane, Bordesley Green, jailed for 13 years after pleading guilty to conspiring to import heroin
  • Unemployed Jason Tremayne, 46, of Latelow Road, Kitts Green, jailed for seven years after being found guilty of conspiring to import heroin
  • Unemployed Andrew Yaqub, 45, of Latelow Road, Kitts Green, jailed for 18 months after admitting allowing his premises to be used in connection with drug trafficking offences
  • Unemployed Harji Varsani, 54, of no fixed address, jailed for five years after being found guilty of conspiring to import heroin
  • Brothers and shopkeepers Usman and Umar Farooq, aged 23 and 31, both of Latelow Road, Kitts Green, awaiting sentence after admitting conspiring to import heroin

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