North East Regional Special Operations Unit

Drug criminal tried to flee UK in lorry to avoid arrest

News / April 08

A Yorkshire-based organised criminal, who tried to leave the UK hidden in a lorry to avoid being arrested for supplying class A drugs, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Tahir Mahmood, aged 30 from Parkinson Lane, Halifax was found hiding in the cab of a Hungarian lorry at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Folkestone in October 2015, after being circulated as ‘wanted’ by officers from the National Crime Agency.

His co-conspirator Ajmal Aziz aged 34 from Stanley Road, Halifax was arrested by the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit a month earlier and it was this arrest that spooked Mahmood into fleeing. The men, who both have previous convictions for supplying heroin and cocaine, were orchestrating the distribution of large quantities of heroin to associates across Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland.

A customer, convicted drug dealer Alan Gee, 28 from Woodville Road, Middlesbrough, was also arrested by officers from Cleveland Police and the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU), in conjunction with the NCA, after he was linked to Mahmood and Aziz.

Investigators uncovered the conspiracy in June 2015, when Aziz and Mahmood sent a courier to deliver half a kilogram of heroin to Gee in Middlesbrough. The courier was arrested en route and Aziz and Mahmood then made attempts to recover a further six kilograms of heroin stockpiled at the courier’s home.

The investigation, which was supported by Police Scotland and West Yorkshire Police, recovered a total of nine kilos of heroin from locations across the UK, with a likely potential street value of £990,000.

All three men pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply controlled drugs. Ajmal Aziz also admitted multiple breaches of a previously imposed Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) by hiring numerous vehicles and using several different mobile phones.

Aziz  was sentenced to 10.5 years and Gee received  8 years at Leeds Crown Court on 8 April 2016.

© NERSOU 2014