A REPEAT drug trafficker from Fife was jailed for 10 years at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday following a police operation that led to the single largest seizure of class A drugs ever made in the region.
Mohammed Asif (37), of Conland Court, Glenrothes, was caught last year as a result of Operation Remit, when more than 28 kilos of drugs were seized.
Jailing Asif—who admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and amphetamine valued at more than £900,000 at addresses in Kirkcaldy and Alloa between April 24 and June 20 last year— Lord Kinclaven pointed out that he had a similar previous conviction from 2002 when he was jailed for five years.
“You willingly participated in organised crime and you played a significant part,” the judge told him. “The quantities of drugs were significant and the potential value of these drugs was significant.” Jailing Asif for 10 years, he said it was his public duty to impose a heavy sentence and that it would have been 15 years had it not been for early guilty pleas.
The court heard that Asif was placed under surveillance after confidential information was received and was seen entering and leaving the two properties. On June 20 police got information that he was expected to receive a large quantity of heroin that day and he was watched as he met a man. Asif was followed to Gavins Road in Alloa, where he entered a flat with a carrier bag.
Minutes later he left empty-handed and started to drive off—but he was stopped by police and was found to have keys for the properties. The Alloa and Kirkcaldy flats were searched and found to be unfurnished and it became clear they were being used for mixing, weighing, dividing up and packaging drugs.
At the Alloa flat police recovered a blender, mixing bowls and a sieve that were contaminated with heroin. Latex gloves, which were also contaminated with the class A drug, had traces of Asif’s DNA. Nearly seven kilos of heroin were found in carrier bags. In a house in Malcolm’s Meadow, Kirkcaldy, officers found scales, bowls, measuring spoons, respirator masks and latex gloves, along with 19 kilos of amphetamine and a further quantity of heroin.
Asif was paid £3000 a month for his part in the distributing the drugs and his defence counsel Edgar Prais QC said, “His involvement in this was perceived by him as a form of salaried employment. He makes it clear that what he did, he did of his own volition.”
He said Asif was not involved in street selling but would collect drugs and sub-divide them and had done so because of financial difficulties. Mr Prais added, “He knew that if caught at what he was doing he would have to pay the penalty but others will also have to pay the penalty.” In total 8.25 kilos of heroin, one kilo of cocaine and 19 kilos of amphetamine with a street value of over £1 million were seized
Fife Constabulary’s head of crime management Detective Superintendent Garry McEwan said, “The sentencing of Asif should serve as a strong warning to those involved in serious organised crime. “We are determined to detect, disrupt and dismantle criminals and criminal groups operating within Fife, especially those who are intent on carrying out illegal activities that have the potential to cause significant harm to our communities.
“Mohammed Asif was undoubtedly motivated by a desire to gain profit and power from high-level drug dealing and this was exemplified by the large quantities of illegal drugs found. “His sole intention was to distribute this misery within Fife and neighbouring areas.
“I would again like to thank our communities for their ongoing support and would ask that people continue to contact us if they have concerns or information that would assist in removing harmful drugs from our streets and target those involved in serious organised crime.”