Zohaab Sadique picked up the illegal Class A drugs, worth an estimated street value of £70,000, after he flew to Dubai on an Emirates Airline flight in January last year
A former airline steward caught trying to smuggle £70,000 of heroin back into Britain has been jailed for eight years.
Zohaab Sadique picked up two pounds of the illegal Class A drugs after he flew from Dubai into Manchester Airport on an Emirates Airline flight in January last year.
The 30-year-old, from Oldham, smuggled the drugs into the UK on his return flight, where he served food and drinks to passengers sat in business class.
Sadique was arrested when Border Force officers and sniffer dogs carried out checks on the cabin crew shortly after landing, where they also searched the bus which transferred them from the plane to the terminal.
Five bags of brown powder were found stuffed behind Sadique’s seat, while CCTV footage from the bus show him hiding the bag on board.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers then took on the investigation after finding several pictures of heroin on Sadique’s mobile phone.
He was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to avoid trial.
Jon Hughes, operations manager at the NCA, said: ‘Zohaab Sadique attempted to use his privileged access and knowledge of the systems in place at the airport for criminal purposes.
‘Corrupt insiders like him are very dangerous people, and provide an important service to the organised criminal networks involved in smuggling drugs and other illicit commodities into the UK. This is why tackling corruption at the border is such a priority for us.
Border Force found five bags of the brown powder stuffed down Sadique’s seat
‘The close partnership between the NCA and Border Force was crucial to this investigation, and by putting Sadique behind bars we have protected the public.’
Paul Airlie, Deputy Director of Border Force North, said: ‘The expertise of Border Force officers – and our detector dogs – stopped a significant amount of dangerous drugs reaching our streets and was the crucial first step in bringing Sadique to justice.
‘This case shows that there is no one type of drug smuggler and Border Force officers need to remain vigilant at all times to prevent illegal importations, no matter how well they are concealed or who by.
‘We will continue working closely with our law enforcement partners like the NCA to tackle drug smuggling and bring those responsible to justice.’
The 30-year-old, from Oldham, smuggled the drugs into the UK on his return flight, where he served food and drinks to passengers sat in business class