Essex Man Jailed After Smuggling Drugs

11 October 2011, 17:04 | Updated: 12 October 2011, 05:45

A drug smuggler who admitted importing 80 thousand pounds worth of heroin hidden in vegetables to Heathrow has been jailed for 11 years.

44 year old Ali Amir Shah, from Pillbox Walk in Colchester, was arrested back in February after a package of East Asian radish arrived on a flight from Pakistan.

Detective Inspector Steven Miles, from Middle Market Drugs Partnership, said: "This investigation led to the recovery of a significant quantity of harmful Class A drugs that were destined for the streets of London.

"The concealment of these drugs was unusual and had clearly been constructed with meticulous care. However, the vigilance of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) led to the discovery of the consignment which prompted our inquiries and ultimately this successful prosecution."

Assistant Director Pete Avery, from the UK Border Agency's Criminal and Financial Investigation directorate, said: "This was a sophisticated concealment and demonstrates the lengths that drug smugglers are prepared to go to get contraband into the UK. But that was matched by the vigilance, dedication and determination shown by our officers who uncovered this shipment.

"Working with law enforcement partners like the Metropolitan Police and SOCA we are determined to tackle the criminal gangs responsible for bringing class A drugs into the UK."