Heroin smuggling ring: Burnley man jailed

Behzad Ali (s)
Behzad Ali (s)

A Burnley man has been jailed for his part in a smuggling ring responsible for importing £860,000 worth of heroin into Burnley and Greater Manchester.

Behzad Ali (28) of Belverdere Road, Burnley, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to the importation and supply of Class A drugs, at Manchester Crown Court.

Five other men, all from Oldham, were also jailed as a result of Operation Alamos, set up by officers from Oldham’s Operation Caminada Organised Crime Unit as a response to community concerns that drug dealing was a problem in the area.

A lengthy and complex covert investigation discovered that the gang were taking delivery of packages of heroin from Pakistan totalling 5kg over the course of a year between April 2013 to April 2014.

These packages would arrive looking, for all intents and purposes, like they were filled with innocuous items such as clothes, restaurant menus and other items.

On closer inspection from customs officials however, these packages were found to contain heroin of a purity ranging from 50-60%.

The gang had these packages delivered to an array of addresses in Burnley and Oldham and used a number of aliases and couriers in an attempt to cover their tracks.

DC Gary Lamont said: “This is a fantastic result for us and for the communities of Manchester, because it means we have prevented hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack cocaine from making it onto the streets and causing misery.

“It was a sophisticated and complex importation case and these jail sentences are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our officers on the ground.”