A man who smuggled hundreds of thousands of cigarettes and drugs into the UK was jailed for four years and eight months on Tuesday, 14 August, at Isleworth Crown Court.
On 23 February 2017, officers from the Met’s Aviation Policing Command, acting on intelligence, executed a search warrant at three commercial units on Cranford Lane in Hounslow.
Within the units, the officers found approximately 988,500 tramadol and diazepam tablets; 588,200 cigarettes and smaller quantities of other drugs, all of which they seized.
The officers made enquiries and found the units were registered to Rajveer Wadhwa, 43 (01.01.75) of Coldharbour Lane, Hayes.
They attended Mr Wadhwa’s home and arrested him on suspicion of importation of Class C drugs through an airport; money laundering; and possession of a Class A drug.
They seized approximately £17,000 in cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act from Wadhwa’s home and car. They also recovered a quantity of Class B drugs from his home.
Officers believe the items were brought into the country via ferry at the Port of Felixstowe.
Investigating officer PC Tom Blair, from the Met’s Aviation Policing Command, said: “This fantastic result is thanks to a pro-active, intelligence-led investigation into smuggling at airports.
“We have taken a vast quantity of prescription-only drugs off London’s streets. These are drugs which, if not issued under strict medical guidance, can be addictive and dangerous. Today’s result shows our determination to prevent the harm caused by such drugs and to bring to justice those who break the law.”
Wadhwa was charged on 15 December 2017 with:
– Possession of goods with intent to evade duty, contrary to section 170(1)(a) and (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979;
– Possession of a controlled drug (Class B – Amphetamine), contrary to section 5(2) of and Schedule 4 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
– Possession with intent to supply a controlled drug (Class C – Tramadol), contrary to section 5(3) of and Schedule 4 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
– Possession with intent to supply a controlled drug (Class C – Diazepam), contrary to section 5(3) of and Schedule 4 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
– Concealing/disguising/converting/transferring/removing criminal property, contrary to sections 327(1) and 334 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
He appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 24 January where he pleaded guilty to the first four charges, but pleaded not guilty to concealing criminal property. He changed his plea at a court appearance on Tuesday, 31 July.