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Indian-origin baggage handler at Heathrow convicted of smuggling drugs

Dev Anand was arrested in April after WhatsApp messages and photos linked him to the operation.

world Updated: Oct 20, 2017 18:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, London
baggage handler,Heathrow,cocaine
After their conviction in the Birmingham crown court, he will be sentenced on November 3.(Reuters File)

An Indian-origin baggage handler at Heathrow and his colleague have been convicted of being part of a plot to smuggle cocaine that included collecting a bag containing 3 kg of high-purity cocaine that arrived on a flight from Brazil.

Dev Anand, 24, and Vaughn Henry, 46, were part of the plot that was busted by officers of Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in February this year. After their conviction in the Birmingham crown court, they will be sentenced on November 3.

NCA said Henry was sent pictures of the bag by London-based drug trafficker Grattan Samuels, 23, 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, who was waiting outside the airport. Malik’s job was to transport the drugs to Birmingham, but before he could set off, NCA officers moved in and arrested him and Henry.

(From left) Vaughn Henry, Dev Anand, Grattan Samuels and Adnan Ahmed Malik. (via NCA)

Samuels and Anand were arrested by the NCA in April, after WhatsApp messages and photos on Henry’s phones linked them to the importation. They pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs, while Samuels also admitted a separate charge of conspiring to acquire a firearm.

Colin Williams of NCA said: “Henry and Anand used their privileged access to Heathrow for criminal purposes, offering a crucial service to drug traffickers and bypassing border controls. People like Henry and Anand who use their employment to engage in organised criminality can expect our full attention.”

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 18:20 IST