Drug-dealer jailed for smuggling heroin worth £5m


Heroin - Credit: Archant

A man who smuggled heroin worth £5 million into the United Kingdom was sentenced to 12 years in jail today.

Snaresbook Crown Court heard how Sabri Karatas, 36, of Harrowgate Road, Homerton, was involved in smuggling 35kg of heroin, estimated to have a street value of £5m.

Karatas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a controlled class A drug (heroin); possession of a prohibited weapon and two counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate.

Daniel Berende, 30, of Roosendal in the Netherlands was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a controlled class A drug on April 21.

The court heard how Karatas was observed driving around the small village of Heckmondwike in Yorkshire in November 2014.

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When he stopped his vehicle Berende pulled up beside it in a Dutch-registered articulated lorry and passed a large yellow package to the driver of Karatas’ vehicle.

Karatas was arrested a short time later and the yellow package was discovered. It was found to contain 40 rectangular blocks of heroin, weighing a total of 20 kilograms.

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Officers also found a converted Baikal firearm, magazine and ammunition on searching Karatas’ home address.

In December 2014 Berende was stopped while driving a different Dutch-registered lorry at Harwich International Port,

Police found 45 packages inside the vehicle, secreted under the fridge - together weighing a total of 15 kilograms of heroin.

Detective Constable Gary Kinch, of the Met’s Central Task Force, said: “This was a sophisticated, well-organised operation, focused on smuggling heroin into the UK. The misery that these drugs would have caused cannot be underestimated. I am pleased with today’s sentences, they send a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated in our society.”

Detective Inspector Rob Murray, said: “I would like to praise my team for their excellent work in securing the convictions of these men and removing a huge amount of heroin and a firearm from the streets of London. This is another example of our commitment to tackling organised crime.”

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