National Crime Agency
Car tradesman jailed for bumper cocaine find
A car tradesman who was caught trying to smuggle £1.1 million worth of cocaine into the UK has been jailed for nine years.
Abdullah Iqbal, aged 33, from Liverpool, was yesterday (Tuesday 3 March) found guilty of importing a class A drug following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) began investigating Iqbal when Border Force officers stopped his vehicle at the UK Control Zone at Coquelles, France, on 11th September 2017.
During a search officers noticed an anomaly with the front and rear bumpers of the car. On removing the rear light fittings, they found a makeshift box area containing silver taped packages. In total 14 packages where found when the bumpers were removed.
The packages contained a total of 14kg of cocaine, with an estimated UK street value of £1.1 million.
When asked about his whereabouts, Iqbal claimed that he had been at Nurburgring, a motorsports venue in Germany. He said he had bought the car specially and had no knowledge of the concealment within the car or the contents found.
NCA officers subsequently made enquiries with the car manufacturer Subaru who confirmed that the areas found behind the bumpers were not standard and had purposefully been fitted.
Investigators also traced his mobile phone records, which showed he had not been to the Nurburgring at all during the alleged time and had in fact been in Rotterdam. Checks with the venue also showed there was no record of him attending.
Martin Grace, Branch Commander at the NCA, said:
“The profit to be made from drugs means criminals like Iqbal are willing to go the extra mile to smuggle cocaine into the country.
“Trading class A drugs is always linked to some level of violence, exploitation and serious organised crime, and the gangs behind it rely on smugglers like Iqbal.
“But by working with partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to stop them and disrupt their networks.”
David Smith, Border Force Director, said:
“Detections like this show the challenges that Border Force officers rise to every day. It was officers’ expertise and attention to detail – recognising an apparent irregularity with the bumpers – that has resulted in a significant quantity of cocaine being taken out of circulation.
“Every year Border Force officers operating at the UK border seize Class A drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Working with law enforcement partners like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and to bring those responsible to justice.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Irish trio plead guilty to drug importation offences following four-year NCA investigation07/07/2020 16:15:00
Three men have pleaded guilty to a series of drug and firearms offences, following a major investigation by the National Crime Agency.
“NCA not fu*@ing about,” say kingpin criminals06/07/2020 15:43:00
Kingpin criminals at the heart of a landmark law enforcement breakthrough into encrypted communications are in fear of the National Crime Agency and police, according to their messages.
Operation Venetic: suspect charged overnight with drugs and firearm supply06/07/2020 13:15:00
A 24-year-old man who was arrested recently (2nd July) as part of an National Crime Agency led investigation under Operation Venetic has been charged.
Man guilty after drugs worth millions found in toy delivery06/07/2020 12:43:00
A man who tried to smuggle cocaine worth over £8 million into the UK in a van delivering toy bricks has pleaded guilty.
NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation02/07/2020 15:43:00
Entire organised crime groups dismantled during Operation Venetic with 746 arrests, and £54m criminal cash, 77 firearms and over two tonnes of drugs seized so far.
Wanted Birmingham man arrested in Amsterdam after nearly eight years on the run02/07/2020 11:15:00
A Birmingham drug trafficker has been arrested in Amsterdam after nearly eight years on the run.
London drug dealer jailed for cocaine supply and money laundering01/07/2020 17:08:00
An Albanian national been sentenced to 4 years in jail after admitting cocaine supply and money laundering yesterday at Inner London Crown Court.
IoW man charged over Newhaven £10m cocaine seizure01/07/2020 16:15:00
A man from the Isle of Wight has been charged as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the seizure of cocaine worth £10 million at Newhaven port in East Sussex in November 2019.
West Belfast properties frozen as part of proceeds of crime investigation01/07/2020 14:43:00
National Crime Agency officers working as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force executed a search of a residential property in the West Belfast yesterday (30 June) as part of an operation targeting the proceeds of crime.