A CRIMINAL from West Yorkshire who tried to leave the UK hidden in a lorry to avoid being arrested for supplying class A drugs, has been jailed for eight years.
Tahir Mahmood, 30, was found in the cab of a Hungarian truck at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Folkestone last October, after his description was circulated by the National Crime Agency.
Prosecutors said he had been “spooked into fleeing” after the arrest of his accomplice, Ajmal Aziz, 34, a month earlier.
The men, both from Halifax, had previous convictions for supplying heroin and cocaine, and were controlling the distribution of large quantities of the drugs to associates across Yorkshire, the north east and Scotland.
One of their clients, Middlesbrough-based Alan Gee, 28, was arrested after being linked to Mahmood and Aziz.
At Leeds Crown Court today, all three admitted conspiring to supply controlled drugs. Aziz, who also breached the terms of a Serious Crime Prevention Order by hiring vehicles and using different mobile phones, was sentenced to eight years, and Gee was jailed for eight years.
Their conspiracy was uncovered last June, when Aziz and Mahmood sent a courier to deliver half a kilogram of heroin to Gee in Middlesbrough. The courier was arrested en route, prompting Aziz and Mahmood to try to recover a further 6kg stockpiled at the courier’s home.
The operation recovered a total of 9kg of heroin from across the UK, with a potential street value of £990,000.
Brent Lyon, operations manager at the National Crime Agency’s armed operations unit, said: “All three men have previous convictions for supplying heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine and have served time in prison.
“This didn’t deter them from persisting in organised criminality.
“Stopping these criminals profiting from the sale of drugs and causing harm to communities is a priority for the National Crime Agency. We work closely with our law enforcement partners across the UK to ensure drug dealers like Mahmood, Aziz and Gee are held accountable for their actions”.