1. ITV Report

Midlands ringleader of international heroin smuggling gang to be sentenced

Tahir Mahmood was arrested in early morning raids in October Photo: National Crime Agency

A man from Stourbridge who controlled a multi-million pound international heroin smuggling gang is due to be sentenced later.

Tahir Mahmood was arrested in early morning raids in October 2013 after 95 kilograms of drugs were found hidden inside suitcases with false bottoms, books and specially adapted clothing.

This heroin was found hidden in the cover of a hardback book Credit: National Crime Agency

Fifty kilos of drugs were seized in this country with an estimated street value of around £5 million.

False bottoms in suitcases were also used to conceal the drugs Credit: National Crime Agency

Mahmood controlled the criminal group from the West Midlands, and used couriers or 'mules' to smuggle the drugs on flights from Pakistan through Germany, Holland, Austria and Spain.

His right hand man - Anwar Bashir from Bradford, will also be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today.

Anwar Bashir from Bradford was Tahir Mahmood's 'right hand man' Credit: National Crime Agency

Two other men who acted as drug 'mules' were caught smuggling the heroin into the UK, and pleaded guilty, while three other men were arrested for their involvement in Spain, Pakistan and Austria respectively, and prosecuted in those countries.