A smuggler has been jailed after he attempted to smuggle nearly £4m of heroin through Manchester Airport in a chapati oven.
Muhammad Khalid, 43, was locked up for 12 years after pleading guilty to drug smuggling.
The seizure which took place on June 7 this year, was one of the biggest single hauls of Class A drugs ever made at Manchester Airport.
Khalid, of Camrose Croft in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, was stopped by border officers as he passed through the “nothing to declare” channel, having just arrived off a flight from Islamabad, Pakistan.
Immigration officers were suspicious of a large cardboard box that was a part of his luggage – but when questioned he said it was an “oven for making chapatis”.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials searched the oven and found 24 kilos of heroin, worth £3.9m, in the lining, although at first Khalid claimed it was mud.
Assistant Director for Border Force, Sam Bullimore said: “This is one of the biggest-ever seizure of drugs at Manchester Airport and a huge amount of heroin has been kept off the streets as a result.
“I would like to praise the efforts of my officers and reassure people that we will continue to work to keep our border safe and make life as tough as possible for people who seek to profit from this evil trade.”
National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command spokesman, Peter Avery said: “Through our close working with Border Force colleagues we have managed to put a serious drug smuggler behind bars and protected our communities by keeping a substantial quantity of drugs off the streets.
“This conviction should serve as a warning to others involved in drug smuggling – the NCA will find you and put you before the courts.”
Khalid was imprisoned at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.