A DEFENDANT accused of involvement in a multi-million-pound drugs gang has told a court he was 'fitted up'.

Umar Butt, 24, of Grangetown, Cardiff, yesterday (Thus) denied being part of a drug dealing gang. He told the court he thought he was helping a friend out, and had no idea he was transporting more than £4 million worth of heroin.

Newport residents Shazia Ahmed, 37, of Leonard Street and Wasim Ali, 29, of Harrow Road; Zawed Malik, 40, of Tameside, Manchester; and Khalid Yassen, 29, Umar Arif, 28, Tracy Ford, 38, and Butt, all of Cardiff, all deny conspiracy to supply heroin between October 27 last year and January 30 this year.

Five men including “king pins” Imtiaz Ali and Mohammed Sajjad have already admitted conspiracy to supply heroin.

On January 30 police stopped a Citroen Xsara on the side of the M5 as it travelled from Newport to Birmingham and found 35.3kg of heroin inside, with a street value of around £4.5million. Butt and Yassen were in the car at the time.

In the past two days Butt has been questioned by his defence barrister Zacharias Miah and cross-examined by prosecution barrister Christopher Rees.

Butt told the court Sajjad called him several times on January 30 begging him to take luggage to his aunt in Birmingham as she was due to go abroad.

He said: "He was begging me to do him a favour. The way he was asking, I felt sorry for him. He said he would pay £200 including petrol money.

"I felt bad for him, I was simply trying to help my friend out."

Butt told the court when the car was pulled over by police: "I thought to myself, I've been set up. I was so shocked. When I found out there were drugs in the car, I thought this is not right. I have been fitted up."

Mr Ress said: “You knew what was going on. He (Sajjad) was a drug dealer and you were part of his gang.”

“I am not a drug dealer,” Butt replied. “I didn’t know he was a drug dealer.”