An attempt to smuggle heroin into the UK hidden in a suitcase has been prevented by Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport.
Officers discovered the Class A drugs on Sunday, 24 September when a passenger was stopped at Terminal 3 after arriving on a flight from Islamabad, Pakistan. The weight of the drugs was estimated to be two kilos – a full forensic analysis will now take place.
Border Force Heathrow Director Phil Douglas said: “Using their skill and expertise, Border Force officers protect our country from those who attempt to smuggle in dangerous drugs. In this case, the drugs seized were estimated to have a potential value of approximately £500,000 once cut and sold on the streets.
“Working with law enforcement colleagues like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.”
Following the seizure by Border Force, the investigation was passed to the NCA and a 41-year-old man from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, was charged with importing a Class A drug.
Azhar Mehmood appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 26 September. He was remanded in custody to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on 26 October.
Azhar Mehmood, 41, of Brockhurst Road, Chesham, was charged with being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion or attempted evasion of the prohibition on importation imposed by section 3(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 contrary to section 170 (2)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.