Emirates Airline steward jailed after smuggling £100,000 worth of heroin into UK
An Emirates air steward has been jailed after he smuggled a kilo of heroin on-board a Manchester-bound business class flight from Dubai.
Zohaab Sadique served champagne, cocktails, and canapes to customers of the high-end airline, while knowing he had £100,000 of drugs stuffed behind his own chair.
The 30-year-old, from Oldham, was caught after the double-decker A380 landed.
He thought his knowledge of the systems and checks in place would protect him from capture after he picked up the drugs in Dubai.
But officers from the Border Force swooped and searched the bus which transferred the cabin crew from the plane to the terminal.
CCTV from the vehicle captured Sadique desperately trying to hide the bag from officers, but he was sniffed out by dogs.
Following the recovery of the drugs, in January last year, an investigation was launched and officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) found several pictures of heroin on Sadique’s mobile phone.
Sadique, of Broadway, Chadderton, pleaded guilty to a charge of importing class A drugs, and was jailed for eight years at Manchester Crown Court.
After the hearing, 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.
‘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.’