Heroin smuggler sentenced to 15 months in prison

Heroin smuggler sentenced to 15 months in prison

A MAN who was involved in a plot to import heroin worth an estimated £146,000 into Northern Ireland has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court.

Omar Ahamad, who lived at Beechmount Gardens in Belfast, was arrested at Belfast International Airport on July 18, 2022, as he was boarding a one-way flight to Paris.

The 42-year-old was caught following an operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) Organised Crime Task Force, which saw properties searched and the drugs uncovered.

Detective Inspector Kelly, from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch, explained: “Following an operation involving Organised Crime Task Force officers in June 2022, detectives searched properties in south and west Belfast.

“They recovered a significant amount of heroin with a potential street value of £146,000. This was alongside drug paraphernalia and a quantity of herbal cannabis.

“Mr Ahamad was arrested by detectives at Belfast International Airport on 18 July 2022, as he went to board a one-way flight to Paris.”

The drugs seized in July 2022 (Pic: PSNI)

Yesterday Ahamad was sentenced to two years and six months for drugs offences, including importing a controlled drug, and possession of a class A controlled drug with intent to supply.

Half of this term will be served in custody and half on licence.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Insp Kelly added: “A significant amount of highly addictive drugs was, thankfully, removed from the streets of Belfast.

“To give an idea of the impact, these drugs once divided up could have produced approximately 6,000 street deals.”

He added: “Heroin has a profound physical and mental effect on vulnerable individuals and causes untold pain to their families.

“It has been a factor in multiple deaths in recent years and, had these drugs made their way onto the streets, this could have led to further loss of life or serious medical implications for users.

“I believe our investigation, and today’s result, will help to disrupt the supply of dangerous drugs on our streets and the lining of criminals' pockets.”