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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 16:20 GMT
Sari drug smuggling gang jailed
Ijaz Ahmed and Mohammed Iqbal
The heroin laden drugs were posted to Oldham in parcels
Two members of a gang that stitched heroin into dresses and posted them to the UK from Pakistan have been jailed.

Ijaz Ahmed, 29, and Mohammed Iqbal, 40, admitted smuggling 1.2m of the drug into the country after it was hidden in Asian dresses and saris.

The scheme involved shipping the clothing in parcels to Oldham, Greater Manchester, before processing the drugs at a base near the town.

Three other members of the gang were jailed last month.

The five smugglers operated a small workshop on the border with Afghanistan, in which the heroin was sewn into the dress linings, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Dress used in smuggling
The drugs were stitched into the dresses at a workshop in Pakistan

Once the packages arrived at their Oldham delivery points the smugglers would take them to a terraced house in Werneth, which doubled as a processing plant.

When officers raided the site they found so much heroin dust it took a professional industrial cleaning company two days to clean it up.

Police smashed the gang after a 21-month surveillance operation.

Ahmed, of Chester Street, Werneth, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years on Friday, after pleading guilty to the importation of a class A drug and possession with intent to supply.

The other four men pleaded guilty to drug trafficking offences.

Iqbal, of Cambridge Street, Werneth, was sentenced to seven years; Manir Khan, 37, of Heron Street, Holinwood eight years; Mohammed Askeem, 39, of Brompton Street, Glodwick, six-and-a-half years; and Fazal Hussain, 40, of Cranbrook Street, Goldwick, six years.

Officers are still searching for another man believed to be involved, Shahid Mehmood, 27.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mobile phone footage of the drugs being stitched into clothes



SEE ALSO
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21 Dec 07 |  Manchester

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