England

Drug trafficker family who hid heroin in boxing gloves jailed

LR- Nibeel Saghir, Rizwan Ahmed, Sultan Butt Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption (L-R) Nibeel Saghir, Rizwan Ahmed and Sultan Butt were jailed for importing heroin

Three members of the same family who smuggled drugs into the UK hidden in boxing gloves have been jailed.

Sultan Mahmood Butt, 37, Nibeel Saghir, 34, Rizwan Ahmed, 34, posted heroin worth £1.2m from Pakistan.

Ringleader Butt, from Luton, organised the importations while Saghir, also from Luton, and Ahmed, from Birmingham, organised UK circulation.

Butt was jailed for 20 years, Saghir received a 15-year sentence and Ahmed was jailed for 10 years.

At Birmingham Crown Court, a fourth relative, 46-year-old Denise Ellis from Birmingham, admitted conspiracy to import heroin at a hearing in September 2017 and will be sentenced at a later date.

Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption The drugs were hidden in gloves in an attempt to avoid detection

A total of 13 packages were seized at three airports - Stansted, East Midlands and Heathrow - revealing high-purity heroin concealed in boxing gloves, equine dentistry tools, medical instruments and motorcycle gloves, the National Crime Agency (NCA)

Jonathan Temperley, from the NCA, said the group "attempted to smuggle over £1m worth of heroin little and often through the post wrongly thinking they could avoid detection".

Ahmed and Ellis were arrested in 2015 when the packages were addressed to them and Butt was arrested later that year after sending a Whatsapp message with details of a package that was later intercepted.

Saghir was arrested in January 2016 after his phone records proved he was involved in the operation.

The three men denied importing heroin but were found guilty by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court in July.

Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption The drugs were hidden in gloves and posted to the UK from Pakistan
Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption The value of the drugs the groups sent was more than £1m

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites