West Yorks man jailed over drug smuggling plot

18 December 2013 

A man from West Yorkshire has been jailed for attempting to smuggle almost half a tonne of cannabis and amphetamine into the UK.

It followed the seizure of approximately 400 kilos of herbal cannabis and 37 kilos of amphetamines by Border Force officers at the port of Immingham in May 2013.

The drugs were in boxes of various sizes but no attempt had been made to conceal them. The shipment, which had originated in the Netherlands, was described as “marine lighting”.

Through investigations in the UK and the Netherlands, officers discovered that 42-year-old Ismail Laher of Chapel Fold in Batley was the intended recipient and distributor of the drugs.

He was also implicated in a number of other similar importations.    

Officers arrested Laher at his home address on Wednesday 24 July.

He was later charged and at a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday 8 August pleaded guilty to three counts of importing controlled drugs. On Wednesday 18 December he was sentenced to five years and four months in prison. 

The court heard the drugs would have had an estimated UK street value of around £7 million.

National Crime Agency branch commander David Norris said:

“Laher was attempting to bring in a substantial quantity of drugs and acted as a key link in a wider international network. 

“However, thanks to the work of my officers and our colleagues in Border Force he is now behind bars. 

“We will now seek to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to prevent him from benefiting financially from his criminality.”

Kevin Parsons, Acting Assistant Director for Border Force at the Humber Ports, said:

 “This case should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to try to smuggle drugs into the UK. You will be caught and brought before the courts.

“In making this seizure Border Force officers at Immingham took a significant quantity of illegal drugs out of circulation and thanks to the subsequent investigation by our NCA colleagues the man responsible has been given a significant prison sentence.

“Our officers are in the frontline of the fight to stop drugs, weapons, contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK. Using the very latest technology, they are on constant alert to keep them out of the country.”

 

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