JURORS saw pictures of heroin parcelled in freezer bags yesterday during the trial of seven defendants accused of involvement in a multi-million-pound Newport drugs gang.
The prosecution alleges that the five men and two women in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court were part of a group which brought more than £4 million worth of the Class A drug into South Wales.
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 Umar Butt, all of Cardiff, all deny the charge of conspiracy to supply heroin between October 27 last year and January 30 this year.
‘Operation Frank’, set up to investigate the alleged drugs ring, came to a head on January 30 when police pulled over Butt and Yassen and found 36.5kg of heroin in the car they were driving, the court heard.
Christopher Rees, prosecuting, said that the drugs which were found that day had a street value of around £3 million.
He called Detective Constable Clint Fisher to the stand, who showed jurors photographs taken by police after they stopped the Citroen Xsara Picasso on the side of the M5.
Plastic bags containing heroin could be seen inside a speaker box with the speaker removed and in a black suitcase, Mr Fisher said.
The jury was then shown a picture of clear blue plastic bags lined up by police, full of a grey substance said to be heroin.
He also explained to the jury images of banknotes stacked up in plastic bags which he said were found on November 18 last year.
Police also discovered “heavily laden” carrier bags full of cash, he said, when they stopped Zawed Malik as he filled up at a service station near Symonds Yat.
On Wednesday the court heard the value of money found in Malik’s car was £223,555.
The jury saw pictures of JD sports bags which were found in Malik’s car.
In CCTV footage from earlier that day defendant Shazia Ahmed can be seen carrying a green and yellow JD sports bag, the court heard.
Mr Rees said: “The value of the heroin recovered, the prosecution say, if it had been sold on the streets of South Wales was well over £4 million.
“It is the largest ever seizure of heroin in a Welsh investigation.
Five men including “king pins” Imtiaz Ali and Mohammed Sajjad have admitted conspiracy to supply heroin, Mr Rees told the jury.