Halifax drug criminal hid in lorry trying to flee country to avoid arrest
An organised criminal who tried to leave the UK hidden in a lorry to avoid being arrested for supplying class A drugs has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Tahir Mahmood, 30, from Parkinson Lane, Halifax, was found hiding in the cab of a Hungarian lorry at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Folkestone in October 2015, after being circulated as ‘wanted’ by officers from the National Crime Agency.
His co-conspirator Ajmal Aziz aged 34 from Stanley Road, Halifax was arrested by the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit a month earlier and it was this arrest that spooked Mahmood into fleeing.
The men, who both have previous convictions for supplying heroin and cocaine, were orchestrating the distribution of large quantities of heroin to associates across Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland.
A customer, convicted drug dealer Alan Gee, 28 from Woodville Road, Middlesbrough, was also arrested by officers from Cleveland Police and the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU), in conjunction with the NCA, after he was linked to Mahmood and Aziz.
Investigators uncovered the conspiracy in June 2015, when Aziz and Mahmood sent a courier to deliver half a kilogram of heroin to Gee in Middlesbrough. The courier was arrested en route and Aziz and Mahmood then made attempts to recover a further six kilograms of heroin stockpiled at the courier’s home.
The investigation, which was supported by Police Scotland and West Yorkshire Police, recovered a total of nine kilos of heroin from locations across the UK, with a likely potential street value of £990,000.
All three men pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply controlled drugs. Ajmal Aziz also breached the terms of a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) by hiring numerous vehicles and using several different mobile phones.
Aziz was sentenced to ten and a half years and Gee received eight years at Leeds Crown Court today.
Brent Lyon, Operations Manager for the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit said: “All three men have previous convictions for supplying heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine and have served time in prison. This didn’t deter them from persisting in organised criminality.
“Stopping these criminals profiting from the sale of drugs and causing harm to communities is a priority for the National Crime Agency. We work closely with our law enforcement partners across the UK to ensure drug dealers like Mahmood, Aziz and Gee are held accountable for their actions”.