News story

Smuggler caught with heroin hidden in underwear

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A Portuguese man who tried to smuggle more than £800,000 of heroin into the UK hidden in his underwear has been jailed for five years.

Mamad Chagani, 57, was stopped and searched by Border Force officers after arriving at Birmingham Airport en route from Islamabad via Karachi and Dubai.
 
Officers found he was wearing a vest and shorts with sewn-in pockets, in which were concealed 3.87 kilograms of high purity heroin with an estimated street value of £816,000.
 

Arrested

Chagani was arrested on suspicion of the importation of a controlled substance.
 
When further questioned by officers, Chagani said he was born in Mozambique but currently lives in Portugal where he is registered as a Portuguese citizen. He said that he is a businessman who deals in the import and export of leather goods in Portugal and has a mother who lives in Islamabad, Pakistan.
 
After his business ran into financial difficulties and his mother became ill, he built up debts in Pakistan and became a heroin user. To repay the debts, he told investigators that he agreed to act as a drugs courier.
 
Chagani later pleaded guilty to being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of class A Drug, namely heroin and was sentenced to five years imprisonment at Warwick Crown Court on 3 May. 
 

Frontline to stop drugs

Dawn Cartwright, from Border Force, said: ‘This sentence should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to try and smuggle drugs.

‘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.

‘There is no doubt that this Class A drug would have ended up on the streets of the UK, causing damage to local communities and people, if our officers had not intercepted it.’