A THURROCK man is set to be sentenced after a £9 million drugs sting he was part of was foiled by the police.
Suitcases stuffed with cocaine were seized by police as they snared a gang which smuggled £9 million worth of class A drugs through Heathrow Airport by avoiding customs.
A corrupt baggage handler helped move luggage laden with drugs from a flight from Brazil onto baggage carousels for domestic flights.
The bags would be then collected by couriers arriving on internal flights from other UK airports, who could exit Heathrow without going through customs.
Baggage handler Joysen Jhurry, 40, had already admitted conspiring to import Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.
On Thursday, Preetam Mungrah, 43, and Wilfred Owusu, 30, were found guilty of conspiring with Jhurry to import the cocaine into the UK following an eight-week trial at Kingston Crown Court, Get West London reports.
The prosecution followed an 18-month National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation, culminating in their arrests in December last year.
NCA surveillance officers watched as Jhurry arranged to move suitcases containing the drugs off a flight from Brazil and have them placed on baggage carousels for domestic flights.
Around the time of each flight Jhurry was in phone contact with his right-hand man Mungrah.
The bags would be then collected by couriers, organised by Owusu, arriving on internal flights who then left Heathrow without going through customs controls.
Two such couriers, Danovan Bull, 45, and Moses Awopetu, 38, were arrested on arrival and would later plead guilty to importing class A drugs.
On other occasions seizures were made by Border Force officers.
In total cocaine weighing more than 100 kilos and cannabis weighing around 50 kilos was seized from the gang.
Three other men, Damion Goodhall, 30, of Tooting, London, Mark Agoro, 51, of Thurrock, Essex, and Aziz Abdul, 37, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy.
All will be sentenced later in the year.
NCA regional head of investigations Brendan Foreman said: “This was a sophisticated plot and at the centre of it was a man who used his privileged access to Heathrow and insider knowledge of the airport’s systems for criminal purposes.
“This kind of corruption threatens the security of the UK border and the public at large which is why the NCA and its partners are tackling it as a priority.