Four jailed for plot to bring drugs to the city
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.