Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

British couple face death penalty in Pakistan over drugs bust

The pair are accused of trying to smuggle 24kg of heroin to the UK on an Emirates flight via Dubai

British couple Mohammed Tahir Nahim Ayaz and Ikra Hussain could face the death penalty in Pakistan if found guilty of attempting to smuggle heroin into the UK via Dubai. Courtesy: Ben Lack    
British couple Mohammed Tahir Nahim Ayaz and Ikra Hussain could face the death penalty in Pakistan if found guilty of attempting to smuggle heroin into the UK via Dubai. Courtesy: Ben Lack    

A British couple accused of trying to smuggle Dh9 million worth of heroin from Pakistan to the UK could face the death penalty.

Mohammed Tahir Ayaz, 26, and his wife Ikra Hussain, 20, from Huddersfield in England, were named by Pakistani authorities following their arrest at Sialkot International Airport.

More than 24 kilograms of top-grade heroin was discovered by the Airport Security Force in luggage and sewn into a woman’s clothes.

They were due to travel from Pakistan to the UK, via Dubai, on Thursday. The drugs were detected during routine scanning before they boarded the aircraft.

Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics Force said investigations are continuing. Officials said the haul has a street value of about 400 million Pakistani rupees (Dh9m).

If found guilty, the pair could face the death penalty or life in prison.

The UK Foreign Office said it was speaking to Pakistan's authorities about the case.

In June, four gang members were convicted of smuggling Dh5.5m worth of heroin into the UK from Pakistan via the postal service.

More than 24 kilograms of top-grade heroin was allegedly discovered by the Airport Security Force (ASF) in luggage and sewn into woman’s clothes.Courtesy: Ben Lack
More than 24 kilograms of top-grade heroin was allegedly discovered by the Airport Security Force (ASF) in luggage and sewn into woman’s clothes.Courtesy: Ben Lack

UK Border patrols worked with the country’s National Crime Agency to intercept 13 packages at three UK airports containing a total of 5kg of high-purity heroin concealed in boxing gloves, equine dentistry tools, medical instruments, and motorcycle gloves.

And customs officials in Dubai intercepted a shipment of 260kg of crystal meth and heroin worth about Dh25m in August.

Drugs were found hidden in spare car parts after being detected at the Jebel Ali Customs Centre.

Updated: September 22, 2019 04:30 PM

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