A Birmingham taxi driver was involved in a plot to smuggle cocaine through Heathrow Airport before transporting it to Birmingham – with the help of two baggage handlers.
Adnan Ahmed Malik, from Edgbaston, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers as he was waiting outside the airport to drive the Class A drugs back to his home city.
The 24-year-old, of Paignton Road, was part of a four-strong gang who face lengthy jail terms for the plot in February of this year.
Malik denied conspiring to import drugs but was found guilty following an eight day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The other three members of the group were Vaughn Anthony Henry, from Willesden, London, Dev Anand, from Slough and Grattan Delano Samuels, from Victoria Park, London.
46-year-old Vaughn Henry, and 24-year-old Dev Anand worked together as baggage handlers at the airport, the court heard.
On February 5 they collected a bag containing around three kilos of high-purity cocaine which arrived on a flight from Brazil into Terminal 3.
Henry was sent pictures of the bag by Grattan Samuels, 23, a London-based drug trafficker who was in contact with other criminals and organised the importation.
Anand then picked up the bag from the flight and gave it to Henry who would store the bag in his staff locker until his shift finished.
That evening Henry handed the bag to taxi driver Malik who was waiting just outside the airport – however National Crime Agency officers were waiting, moved in and arrested the pair.
In April, Samuels and Anand were arrested by the NCA after WhatsApp messages and photos on Henry’s phones linked them to the plot.
The pair pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs.
Samuels also admitted a separate charge of conspiring to acquire a firearm.
Henry denied the charges, but was found guilty along with Malik following the eight-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
All four men will be sentenced at the same court on November 3.
Colin Williams, NCA branch operations manager, said, “Henry and Anand used their privileged access to Heathrow for criminal purposes, offering a crucial service to drug traffickers and bypassing border controls.
“Tackling corruption at the border is a major priority for the NCA and our law enforcement partners. It threatens the safety and security of the UK. People like Henry and Anand who use their employment to engage in organised criminality can expect our full attention.”