International drug trafficker smuggled £1.5m of heroin from Pakistan to Blackburn by in balloons and gloves

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A man who smuggled £1.5m worth of heroin from Pakistan to Blackburn by hiding it in balloons and gloves has been jailed.

Akhlaq Muhammad conspired with others in Pakistan, Dubai and Birmingham to import £1.5m of heroin into Blackburn between March 2021 and September 2022.

Muhammad used variations of his name and those of family members to have 11 packages of heroin delivered to properties in Canterbury Street and Whitebirk Road.

The packages weighed a combined total of 23kg (50lb).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On other occasions, Muhammad hid the drugs in a coffee machine and a carpet to try and trick customs officials.

During a search of his home, police found a large cardboard box parcel containing balloons which were “similar to those seized containing heroin”.

Muhammad, 42, of Whitebirk Road, Blackburn, was charged with conspiracy to fraudulently evade a prohibition on the importation of a Class A drug.

He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to six years in prison at Preston Crown Court.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Det Chief Insp Tom Edmondson, of East Division, said: “Muhammad thought he was a criminal mastermind and could outsmart the authorities by importing large amounts of heroin hidden in balloons and other items.

“Thanks to the hard work and diligence of the investigation team, we have managed to put a pin in Muhammad’s sophisticated criminal network.

“I welcome the sentence handed down by the court and I hope it sends out a clear message to any organised crime network that East Lancashire is not a safe place to operate.