Four jailed for plot to bring drugs to the city

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ross McCarthy

FOUR men in­clud­ing a taxi driver and two crooked bag­gage han­dlers have been jailed for their roles in a plot to take three ki­los of co­caine to Birm­ing­ham.

Ad­nan Ma­lik was about to drive to the city with the drugs, which had been smug­gled through Heathrow, when of­fi­cers from the Na­tional Crime Agency swooped.

Ma­lik, 24, of Paign­ton Road, Edg­bas­ton, and Vaughan Henry, 46, of Wills­den, Lon­don, had pre­vi­ously been con­victed of im­port­ing a con­trolled drug fol­low­ing a trial at Birm­ing­ham Crown Court.

Grat­tan Sa­muels, 23, of Vic­to­ria Park, and Dev Anand, 24, from Slough, had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted the same charge. Sa­muels, who had also pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to ac­quire a firearm, was sen­tenced to 16 years.

Henry was jailed for ten years and nine months, Ma­lik for nine years and Anand was sen­tenced to seven years and eight months.

Ju­lia Faure Walker, pros­e­cut­ing, said that Sa­muels had been the co­or­di­na­tor or bro­ker be­tween the bag­gage han­dlers and a man called Goldie, the drugs whole­saler in Birm­ing­ham. Henry worked for BA, Anand was a team su­per­vi­sor while Ma­lik had been re­cruited by Goldie to col­lect the drugs from out­side the air­port.

She said that there had been a “dummy run” on Oc­to­ber 15 last year when a bag was put on a flight which landed at Heathrow. Miss Faure Walker said that from WhatsApp com­mu­ni­ca­tions it ap­peared that a third bag­gage han­dler was in­volved.

Text mes­sages sent by Ma­lik to his girl­friend in­di­cated he was ex­pect­ing to be paid £1,000.

A ruck­sack, con­tain­ing three blocks of co­caine, was put on a flight from Sao Paulo on Fe­bru­ary 4 ar­riv­ing the fol­low­ing day.

On that day both Anand and Henry ar­rived ear­lier than they were due to at the air­port and Anand re­moved the ruck sack while it was still air­side and gave it to Henry to store in his locker.

Henry then took the bag from the air­port, leav­ing by a staff exit. He then trav­elled by bus to meet Ma­lik where the bag was put in his taxi. Miss Faure Walker said com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the men sug­gested that a fur­ther im­por­ta­tion was planned.

The court heard that Sa­muels had also been linked to a loaded pis­tol which po­lice had found in a taxi in Birm­ing­ham and which had been used in five in­ci­dents in the city be­tween 2010 and 2016.

Judge Peter Carr said Anand and Har­ris had “abused their po­si­tion and trust and re­spon­si­bil­ity as em­ploy­ees at Heathrow.”

Wil­liam Evans, for Sa­muels, said that those in Birm­ing­ham had wanted some­one in Lon­don closer to where the im­por­ta­tion was to take place, that he was to be paid £10,000 and that there were oth­ers higher up in the chain.

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