Corrupt baggage handlers smuggled cocaine out of Heathrow

Update - 3 November 2017

Baggage handlers Vaughn Henry and Dev Anand have been sentenced along with two criminal associates - Grattan Samuels and Adnan Malik - to a combined total of more than 43 years in prison for their parts in the conspiracy to smuggle cocaine.

At Birmingham Crown Court, Samuels was sentenced to 16 years, Henry 10 years eight months, Malik nine years and Anand seven years eight months.

Colin Williams, NCA branch operations manager, said:

“The long sentences handed out to these men show how serious this kind of offending is.

"Corruption at the border threatens the safety and security of the UK which is why tackling it is such a priority for the NCA and law enforcement partners."


19 October 2017

Two baggage handlers have been convicted of being part of a plot to smuggle cocaine through Heathrow Airport.

Vaughn Henry, 46, (above far left) and Dev Anand, 24, (above 2nd from left) worked together to collect a bag containing around three kilos of high-purity cocaine which arrived on a flight from Brazil into the airport’s Terminal 3 on 5 February 2017.

Henry was sent pictures of the bag by London-based drug trafficker Grattan Samuels, 23, (above 2nd from right) who was in contact with other criminals and organised the importation. Anand then picked up the bag from the flight and gave it to Henry to store in his staff locker until his shift finished.

That evening Henry handed the bag to taxi driver Adnan Ahmed Malik, 24, (above far right) who was waiting just outside the airport. Malik’s job was to transport the drugs to Birmingham, but before he could set off National Crime Agency officers moved in and arrested him and Henry.

Samuels and Anand were arrested by the NCA in April, after WhatsApp messages and photos on Henry’s phones linked them to the importation.

The pair pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs, while Samuels also admitted a separate charge of conspiring to acquire a firearm.

Henry and Malik denied the charges, but following an eight day trial at Birmingham Crown Court they were both found guilty on Wednesday 18 October.

All four men will be sentenced at the same court on Friday 3 November.

Colin Williams, NCA branch operations manager, said:

“Henry and Anand used their privileged access to Heathrow for criminal purposes, offering a crucial service to drug traffickers and bypassing border controls.

“Tackling corruption at the border is a major priority for the NCA and our law enforcement partners. It threatens the safety and security of the UK.

“People like Henry and Anand who use their employment to engage in organised criminality can expect our full attention.”

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