Greater Manchester drug smuggler jailed

Date published: 20 September 2018

A drug smuggler who concealed methylamphetamine worth over £1 million in his suitcase has been sentenced to eight years in prison following a National Crime Agency investigation.

Gholamreza Pourmirzaei, aged 46, from Manchester, was stopped by Border Force officers at Stansted Airport on 21 November 2016 after flying to the UK from Turkey.

An x-ray revealed the Class A drug was hidden in the lining at the bottom of his suitcase.

On the same day NCA officers searched Pourmirzaei’s home in Kippax Street, Manchester, and seized £3,965 cash.

The NCA investigation revealed that Pourmirzaei had travelled to Turkey and Iran on 31 occasions in 2016.

Following a six-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Pourmirzaei was found guilty on Monday (17thSeptember) of being knowingly concerned in the importation of controlled drugs.

NCA branch commander, Matt Rivers, said: “Pourmirzaei was a frequent traveller to Iran and Turkey, taking 31 flights in 2016 alone. He claimed they were for business, but we believe, even though we could only evidence one importation, he was regularly bringing large quantities of drugs into the UK.

“Drugs fuel further crime and violence on our streets, which is why we work closely with Border Force to target smugglers such as Pourmirzaei.”

Taylor Wilson, Border Force Assistant Director at Stansted Airport, said: “There is no doubt that had Pourmirzaei not been stopped by my officers, these dangerous drugs would have ended up being sold on the UK’s streets.

“Border Force seize drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Working with law enforcement colleagues like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.”