In the Media

Gun smuggling gang leaders jailed for 24 years

PUBLISHED October 21, 2011

Mohammed Tariq, 33, and Atique Arif, 32, smuggled 13 firearms into the UK from the US over 12-month period, say police Two ringleaders of a gang which smuggled guns into the UK from the United States have each been jailed for 24 years. Mohammed Tariq, 33, and Atique Arif, 32, were sentenced at Bradford crown court along with six other men who were sent to prison for up to 12 years. The gang imported guns concealed with electrical equipment including DVD players and portable radios. Police said they smuggled 13 firearms into the UK over a 12-month period. West Yorkshire police said the investigation ? Operation Lapworth ? began in July last year when two parcels destined for addresses in the Bradford area were intercepted at East Midlands airport. Detectives said the conspiracy began when Tariq ordered a Taser gun from an American website. Tariq and Arif then bought guns from a seller in Texas, who would break down them into parts and conceal them within the consignments destined for addresses across Bradford. Operation Lapworth 2 started after further packages were intercepted when the pair were on bail following an initial series of arrests. West Yorkshire Police delivered four dummy parcels to the new destination addresses in Leeds and Pontefract which contained deactivated parts of a gun belonging to the force, leading to further arrests. Six men from Bradford pleaded guilty to possessing firearms with the intent to endanger life and the importation of firearms. As well as Tariq and Arif, Sakawat Shah, 29, was jailed for eight years; Mohsin Hussain, 29, was jailed for eight years; Mudasser Iqbal, 29, was jailed for 12 years; and Feroz Khan, 24, was jailed for 10 years. Debbie Jefferson, 34, and her son Jamie Jefferson, 18, both of Bradford but formerly of Mixenden, Halifax, each pleaded guilty to the importation of firearms. Debbie Jefferson was given a one-year suspended sentence and her son received a community order. After a two-week trial, Akbar Sultan, 24, and Raees Khan, 33, of Bradford, were found guilty of conspiracy to import firearms and both received seven-year sentences. Four women and one man were found not guilty of conspiring to import firearms by a jury in Bradford. mfl Gun crime Crime United States © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds