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  1. ITV Report

Gang jailed after drugs found hidden in chickens

Three men have been jailed after importing millions of pounds worth of class A drugs in chicken. Credit: National Crime Agency

Three men have been jailed after importing millions of pounds worth of class A drugs hidden in loads of chicken.

Mohammed Shabir, 42 and brothers Manjinder, 36, and Davinder Singh Thakhar, 42, all pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of an organised crime group.

They were part of a criminal organisation which set up a number of front companies, which were involved in the importation of chicken from the Netherlands.

On three occasion, heroin and cocaine worth around £5 million was seized hidden in chicken shipments.

Following a joint operation between National Crime Agency officers and Dutch police, another 16 importations were identified.

They were suspected to have contained drugs, which would have brought the overall street value to around £12 million.

Meat supplier Mohammed Shabir pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of an organised crime group. Credit: National Crime Agency

Shabir, from Small Heath, used his meat business to receive one of the importations.

Manjinder and Davinder, both from Smethwick, were involved in the transport, moving raw chicken around in unrefrigerated vehicles.

All three men appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday (23 January) and were given two year sentences, suspended for 18 months.

Manjinder Singh Thakhar & Davinder Singh Thakhar pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of an organised crime group. Credit: National Crime Agency

“The crime group that Shabir and the Singh Thakhar brothers were part of operated in numerous ways that bring harm to the UK.

"They used front companies to appear to be legitimate goods importers, they had links with criminals abroad, and the ringleaders were involved in conspiring to supply firearms.

“Working with Dutch partners, the NCA spent several years bringing the entire crime group to account, dismantling their operation from top to bottom, and preventing them from fuelling violence and exploitation in the West Midlands and far beyond.”

– NCA branch operations manager, Colin Williams: