Two Halifax men who were involved in professional heroin smuggling conspiracy have been ordered to pay back less than £15,000 following an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act. .
Tasadaq Hussain, 36, of Bowman Terrace, and 28-year-old Imran Muhammed Ali, of Dyson Road, were both jailed earlier this year for their part in a smuggling operation which saw regular consignments of heroin being delivered to addresses in Halifax over a seven-month period.
Hussain was jailed for a total of 12-and-a-half years after admitting the conspiracy charge and two further offences of possessing heroin with intent to supply.
Father-of-two Ali, who had claimed that he was only going to receive £500 plus one ounce of cannabis for allowing his address to be used for a delivery, was sentenced to nine years in jail after Judge Jonathan Rose said he had also played a significant role.
The pair appeared back at Bradford Crown Court on Monday for a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act and Judge David Hatton QC was told that each of the defendants were assessed to have benefited from criminal conduct to the tune of over £1.1 million.
But Hussain was said to only have available assets amounting to £12,727 and Ali’s assets were just £1,745.
Most of the sums are already in the possession of the police.
If Hussain fails to meet the order he could face a further nine months in jail while Ali could get an extra 35 days if he does not pay up.
The drugs smuggling operation only came to an end after officers at Heathrow Airport intercepted a crate labelled as ‘’handicrafts’’ from Pakistan and discovered 1.73 kilograms of heroin concealed in the hollowed out wooden struts of the container.
The crate had been destined for a house in Blackwood Grove, Pellon, but instead officers carried out an early morning raid on the premises in May 2012 and arrested 30-year-old taxi driver Babar Khan.
Inquiries into mobile phone records linked ‘’similar’’ deliveries to the other addresses in the same area of Halifax in the preceding months.
Prosecutor Stephen Wood said another consignment marked as ‘’dinner set wooden show pieces’’ had been delivered to an address in Dyson Street, Halifax, back in November 2011 and records showed a further three deliveries between January 2012 and April 2012 to homes in Highfield Terrace, Bowman Terrace and West View.
Judge Jonathan Rose heard that the other four consignments, which had not been intercepted, could have resulted in heroin worth more than £1 million reaching the streets of West Yorkshire and beyond.
Mr Wood submitted that the heroin smuggling operation, which was running at the rate of almost one consignment a month, would have continued if the crate had not been intercepted at Heathrow.
Married father-of-three Khan, who had worked for Elland Taxis at the time, was found guilty of being involved in the conspiracy to import heroin and he received a jail sentence of 15 years.
Judge Rose described heroin as a pernicious and evil drug which blighted the lives of users and had a devastating effect on society.
Khan’s proceeds of crime hearing has been adjourned until August.