September 23rd, 2016

Local police investigation helps send heroin duo to jail

WEST Mercia and Warwickshire Police have plead a key role in an investigation that has led to the conviction of two men for conspiracy to supply heroin.

The heroin, weighing 7.3kg and with a street value of approximately £730,000, had been shipped to the UK from Pakistan and was concealed in carpets when it was shipped by air.

On August 14, 2015, Ali Raza Shah, 36, from Malmesbury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin. On Thursday (September 17) he was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Hereford Crown Court.

Christopher John Leslie, from Kitchener Road, Selly Park, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday November 4, 2014.

On the same date he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply 9kg of cannabis. On January 21, 2015, the 32 year-old was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to supply heroin and one year in prison for possession with intent to supply cannabis, to be served consecutively.

The sentencing follows a successful investigation by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Serious Organised Crime Unit.

On July 20, 2013, a consignment of 14 packaged carpets was shipped by air from Pakistan to the UK, arriving at Heathrow Airport on August 2, 2013.

UK Border Force officers discovered that two of the three carpets in one of the rolls contained a sophisticated concealment of heroin.

The heroin had been fitted into hollow straws and the carpet itself weaved around them. The carpets looked identical to all others within the load, but when examined were found to contain 7.3kg of heroin at a purity of 45 – 50 per cent, giving a realisable street value of approximately £730,000.

Leslie and Shah were both arrested by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police officers on August 21, 2013, having involved themselves in protracted arrangements over the phone to have the consignment delivered to and collected in Telford, then Birmingham.

The consignment was originally destined for an address in Leegomery, Telford, but at the last minute the address changed to a storage facility in Birmingham. Leslie and Shah were responsible for the collection of the carpets.

Detective Inspector Carl Moore, who led the investigation, said: “This was a multi-agency investigation conducted by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police together with Border Force.

“We are regularly involved in targeting this type of serious organised criminality with our partner agencies.  This investigation resulted in the removal of a significant amount of heroin from our communities. Heroin is one of the most harmful of controlled drugs and the sentences handed out reflect the serious harm that these drugs do to our communities.”

Anyone with information about the supply of drugs can contact Warwickshire Police or West Mercia Police on 101. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or through their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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