Police crack criminal network plotting to smuggle £1 million drugs into Kent via Heathrow

Clockwise from top left - Kuran Gill, Jag Singh, Govind Bahia and Gregory Blacklock Credit: Kent Police

Four men who tried to bring £1 million of illegal drugs into the UK have been jailed for a total of more than 17 years after Kent detectives helped crack an international crime ring.

Two pallet loads of cannabis were found hidden in a shipment of computer casings at Heathrow.

Detectives were able to link the shipment to members of a criminal network who had been arranging the importation of cannabis over an illegally-encrypted mobile phone platform.

The drugs had been flown across from Canada by members of the organised crime group and were due to be delivered to a business address in Dartford.

One of the hidden packages of cannabis, and cash seized from Kuran Gill's home Credit: Kent Police

Border Force officers seized the contraband at the airport as part of an investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Ringleader Kuran Gill organised the importation and distribution of the drugs. When he was arrested, £105,000 of cash was seized from his Gravesend home.

Jag Singh from south-west London used the chat handle ‘Real Crocodile’ as he exchanged multiple messages with Gill in which they openly discussed routes into the country, ways in which the drugs could be concealed and how much it would cost.

Maidstone businessman Gregory Blacklock was director of the Dartford firm where the Heathrow drugs were due to be delivered and Govind Bahia advised the gang about the type and quantity of cannabis to buy.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Steve Brown of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "The cracking of the EncroChat mobile phone platform has led to countless criminals being caught red-handed and brought to justice.

"Organised gangs across Europe thought they could openly discuss their criminal activity, oblivious to the fact the system was not as secure as they thought and that every message they sent was bringing them a step closer to prison.

"Crime does not pay and I am satisfied that those involved in this particular conspiracy are now behind bars where they belong."

The men involved in the conspiracy were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court.