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Drug smuggler told 'remain tension free…God will be generous' before boarding flight with heroin worth £900k - he's now in jail

By Paul Britton

This is the moment a brazen drug smuggler calmly walks through an airport carrying 18 kilos of high-strength heroin in his baggage - worth an estimated £900,000. Mohammed Uzair Rashid, 35, was stopped by Border Force officers for a search.

They found packages of heroin inside a suitcase he had checked in and collected on arrival from Pakistan at Birmingham Airport. The National Crime Agency (NCA) said its forensic experts found that the packages contained heroin with a purity of between 66 and 71 per cent.

Rashid, from Oldham, has now been jailed for nine years. The NCA said he pleaded guilty to class A drug importation offences and was sentenced today - Friday - at Birmingham Crown Court.

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Rashid was stopped after he arrived into the airport on a flight from Sialkot in Pakistan, via Dubai, in November, 2021. CCTV camera images have been revealed which capture him walking through the airport with his luggage. The NCA said Rashid claimed the bags were not his, then that the packages had been planted inside.

But a spokesman said in a statement after he was jailed: "NCA officers identified that Rashid had flown out to Pakistan on September 29 on a ticket booked the same day as his travel. He claimed to have taken more than £500 savings from his benefit payments on the holiday with him.

He was stopped by Border Force officers (NCA)

"WhatsApp messages recovered from his phone showed he was in constant contact with someone he referred to as 'brother' as he passed through the airport in Pakistan. In one message he was advised to 'remain tension free…God will be generous' as he walked through.

"NCA forensic experts found that the packages contained heroin between 66 and 71 per cent pure, with a street value in excess of £900,000. Rashid eventually pleaded guilty to class A drug importation offences, and was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court."

NCA operations manager Niall Conner said: "Rashid's story should be a cautionary one for anyone considering getting involved in drug smuggling. He might have thought he could make a bit of money on the side, but instead he is now serving a long and life-changing prison sentence.

"Heroin is a drug which fuels violence and exploitation in our communities, where we often see it sold by county lines street gangs. This is why we are working with partners to do all we can to disrupt supply chains and track down those bringing it in to the UK."

Rashid has now been jailed for nine years (NCA)

Neal Broad, Assistant Director of Border Force for Birmingham and East Midlands, said: "The sentencing of Rashid is the result of hard work and dedication from Border Force and NCA to secure the UK's borders and prosecute those that seek to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.

"Border Force's work with the NCA to stop drugs entering the UK is a core part of the Government's 10-year drug strategy to cut crime and save lives."

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Dive Deeper:
Mum who stuffed drugs in bra to give to both her murderer sons jailed
Lyndsey Ryan, 48, from Sunderland, sneaked the drugs into Full Sutton Prison where her son Jack was serving a prison…
Mum who hid drugs in bra to give to murderer son in prison has been jailed
Lyndsey Ryan was caught trying to hand over drugs to her son Jack Ryan, who is serving time behind bars…
Sunderland mum smuggled drugs in her bra to give to convicted murderer son in prison
Lyndsey Ryan was caught trying to hand over drugs to her son Jack Ryan who is a convicted murderer
Gang flogged cannabis sweets disguised as Smarties and Nerds through Snapchat
Reo Mangal, Olivia Butler and Ceroan Mangal, from London, have all been sentenced after a series of raids uncovered "overwhelming…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Drug traffickers hid cannabis among dog biscuits to post it from Spain to Hebburn
The ruse was uncovered by Border Force officials and police replaced it with a dummy package and delivered it to…
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He has been sentenced
Get all your news in one place