27 September 2016
A Birmingham man who went on the run from the NCA has been given a seven year prison sentence, four years after he and his organised crime group were first arrested.
Tahir Mahmood, 37, from Kenelm Road in Small Heath, was detained by West Midlands Police on 1 August 2016. He was attempting to climb into the roof space of an out-building at his family’s home at the time. Officers suspected he was back at the address.
Mahmood was the outstanding member of an organised crime group which was investigated by the NCA for importing heroin worth around £1 million from Iran in July 2012.
The drugs were found by Border Force staff carrying out searches on incoming freight at Heathrow Airport. They had been hidden inside cloth handbags (right).
Mahmood was arrested by border investigators with his co-conspirators Israr Ahmed and Razwana Kosar shortly after taking delivery of the parcels. He was bailed pending further enquiries but failed to report and fled the area.
NCA investigators found evidence that Mahmood had helped orchestrate the importation. Analysis of his phones showed he had been in contact with people in Pakistan to arrange the shipment, with details of the flight and an online tracking number found in text messages. He also made numerous calls to the shipping company.
Ahmed and Kosar, also from Birmingham, were later convicted and sentenced to seven and five years in prison respectively.
Following his re-arrest Mahmood pleaded guilty to conspiring to import class A drugs, and on Tuesday 27 September a judge at Birmingham Crown Court gave him a seven year sentence.
Dawn Cartwright, head of the NCA’s Birmingham border investigation team, said:
“Tahir Mahmood spent four years on the run and maybe thought the coast was clear and he could come back to Birmingham and pick up where he left off.
“He soon found out that those involved in this kind of organised crime never drop off our radar. We are grateful to our partners at West Midlands Police for their help in bringing him to justice.”