A gang leader, along with his six accomplices, has been jailed for attempting to smuggle 210 kg of heroin worth £63 million into the United Kingdom last year. According to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP), gang leader Fikri “Mario” Yarasir and six other were imprisoned after they were found guilty of plotting to import Class A drugs into the country. While five of them were sentenced to prison in April 2018, the remaining two were jailed on June 4, 2018.
Last year, undercover officers of the GMP arrested 53-year-old Yarasir of Glossop for his involvement in heroin trafficking that led to the seizure of a monumental 210 kg of the drug. Yarasir was under surveillance since August 2017 when he directed a lorry with Turkish number plate to an industrial unit in Salford.
Detectives monitored Yarasir’s every movement as he coordinated with 45-year-old Ahmet Taskin to transport a furniture consignment into the industrial unit. A search of the unit led to the discovery of 42 tables containing hidden bags of heroin of high purity. The police then raided a lockup in Rhyl, Wales, where they found laboratory equipment required to increase the potency of substances, including a hydraulic press for compressing the drugs.
Further investigations showed that the drug proceeds would channel through a firm — Freight Forward — run by 37-year-old Brian Kennedy of Fife, who had Yarasir as his only customer. Kennedy was sentenced to 18 years in prison on June 4, while Yarasir received a 25-year jail term. The other ring members who were imprisoned included 34-year-old Kathryn Fearon and her 46-year-old partner Paul Livesey, both from Openshaw in Manchester; 28-year-old Steven Hindley of Kinmel Bay in Rhyl, and 27-year-old David Mulligan.
Heroin addiction in US
Just like Britain, heroin addiction is widespread across the United States. The drug is now not confined to poor neighborhoods. Heroin is widely used in suburbs and affluent areas, causing a monumental surge in overdose deaths involving the drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heroin overdose deaths jumped fivefold from 2010 to 2016 and approximately 15,500 people lost their lives in 2016 alone.
Experts predict as long as addiction to heroin exists, ruthless drug trafficking organizations will continue to flourish globally. In the U.S., heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) because of its potential to cause addiction. Studies show that those addicted to prescription opioid drugs end up switching to heroin because both have identical chemical structures and the latter is cheaper. Fortunately, addiction to harmful drugs like heroin is treatable with timely medical intervention. If a person is grappling with substance use disorder, he/she should immediately seek professional assistance from a reputed drug treatment center.
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