Duo jailed for 22 years after £5m heroin bust

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Two men have been jailed for 22 years after taking part in a £5m heroin deal.

Sabri Karatas and Dutch man Daniel Berende were seen exchanging heroin in Heckmondwike last year.

The misery that these drugs would have caused cannot be underestimated.

Det Con Gary Kinch

The 35kg of drugs had an estimated street value of £5m.

Karatas, 35, of Harrowgate Road, Hackney, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a controlled Class A drug, possession of a prohibited weapon and two counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate.

He was jailed for 12 years at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday.

Berende, 30, of Roosendal in The Netherlands, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a controlled Class A drug and was handed a 10 year prison sentence.

On November 14 last year Karatas was seen driving around Heckmondwike. He stopped his vehicle in Bradford Road and a Dutch-registered articulated lorry pulled up beside it.

The driver of the lorry, Berende, passed a large yellow package to the driver of Karatas’ vehicle.

Karatas was arrested a short time later and the yellow package was found. It contained 40 rectangular blocks of heroin, weighing a total of 20kg.

When searching Karatas’ home afterwards, officers also found a converted Baikal firearm, magazine and ammunition.

Then on December 17, Berende was stopped while driving a different Dutch-registered lorry at Harwich International Port.

Officials searched the cab and 45 packages were found underneath a fridge.

Forty of the packages were rectangular in shape and each weighed 250g. The other five each weighed a kilogram, making a total of 15kgs of heroin.

Speaking after the sentences, Det Con Gary Kinch of the Metropolitan Police Central Task Force said: “This was a sophisticated, well-organised operation, focused on smuggling heroin into the UK.

“The misery that these drugs would have caused cannot be underestimated.

“I am pleased with today’s sentences, they send a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated in our society.”