Chocolate muffin man jailed for smuggling opium into UK

A PADDINGTON man has been jailed after smuggling five kilos of opium into the UK under the guise of importing chocolate muffins.

Mohammad Satari-Khavas, 41, of Westbourne Terrace, had nine clear-wrapped packages of the class-A drug in his lorry with an estimated street value of �75,000 – the rest of his vehicle was filled with chocolate muffins.

Satari-Khavas, who is a Dutch national, had been caught when he was stopped by UK Border Agency officers at Dover on March 13 as he returned from the Netherlands.

He was arrested and pleaded guilty to drug smuggling at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court where he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. A second man from Poland remains on bail while investigations continue.

Malcolm Bragg, from the UK Border Agency, said: “UK Border Agency officers work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to detect and prevent drugs from being smuggled into the UK. We are determined to prevent this terrible trade which can have such a destructive impact on the lives of so many.

“Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Border Agency officers use a number of search techniques to combat the smuggling of drugs, firearms and stowaways including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners.