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Indian-origin couple convicted in UK, had smuggled 514kg of cocaine to Australia


A married British couple of Indian origin, Arti Dhir, 59, and Kavaljitsinh Raijada, 35, have been discovered responsible of main a drugs-smuggling operation and exporting greater than half a tonne of cocaine from the United Kingdom to Australia.

The unlawful operation was uncovered by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

Officers traced the consignment again to Dhir and Raijada, who had arrange an organization, Viefly Freight Services, as a entrance for smuggling medicine. Both defendants had been administrators of the corporate at totally different factors since its incorporation in June 2015.

The NCA investigation confirmed that the 514 kg of medicine, valued at £57 million, have been transported through a business flight from the UK to Sydney in May 2021 in six steel toolboxes.

In the UK, a kilo of cocaine at wholesale is priced at round £26,000 per kilo however in Australia, the identical quantity sells for £110,000. Cocaine costs in Australia are considerably better than in the United Kingdom, making illicit cargo much more worthwhile for Dhir and Raijada.

Raijada’s fingerprints on the plastic wrappings of the steel toolboxes, together with receipts for the acquisition of the toolboxes, have been essential items of proof linking the couple to the crime.

Cocaine packages in toolbox
Cocaine packages in toolbox. (Photo: NCA UK)

BRITISH-INDIAN COUPLE HAD OVER £3 MILLION IN CASH

The UK’s NCA mentioned that the couple had used their data of airport freight procedures, gained from their earlier employment at a Heathrow flight providers firm, to facilitate their unlawful actions.

The couple have been arrested in June 2021.

During the trial at Southwark Crown Court, London, Dhir and Raijada denied the costs of exporting cocaine and cash laundering.

However, the jury convicted them on 12 counts of exportation and 18 counts of cash laundering.

The couple is scheduled to be sentenced, following the conviction, at Southwark Crown Court, on Tuesday (January 30).

The couple have been discovered in possession of gold-plated silver bars, £13,000 at their house, and £60,000 in a secure deposit field. Subsequent investigations uncovered almost £3 million in money hidden in a storage unit in Hanwell (UK), rented by Raijada in his mom’s title.

Almost £3 million in cash hidden in boxes and suitcases at a storage unit in Hanwell, London.
Almost £3 million in money hidden in containers and suitcases at a storage unit in Hanwell, London. (Photo: NCA UK)

BRITISH-INDIAN COUPLE BOUGHT £8,00,000 FLAT, LAND ROVER

Financial enquiries disclosed that the couple had bought a flat in Ealing, London, for £8,00,000 and a Land Rover for £62,000, regardless of declaring minimal income to His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The NCA is ready to provoke Proceeds of Crime proceedings to seize the couple’s property.

“Arti Dhir and Kavaljitsinh Raijada used their insider data of the air freight business to site visitors cocaine price tens of tens of millions of kilos from the UK to Australia, the place they knew they might maximise their income,” said Piers Phillips, a Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA.

“They kept their illicit profits in cash at their home and in storage units, as well as purchasing property, gold and silver in an attempt to hide their wealth. These defendants may have thought they were removed from the misery caused by the drugs trade, but their greed was fuelling it,” Investigating Officer Phillips added.

“The NCA worked closely with our partners in Australia and UK Border Force to dismantle the supply chain created by Dhir and Raijada and bring them to justice,” Investigating Officer Phillips additional added to define the collaborative effort between British and Australian businesses,

Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, Commander of the New South Wales Police Force Organised Crime Squad (Australia), counseled the worldwide collaboration, noting, “Serious and organised criminal networks often have no borders, which is why working collaboratively with our international counterparts is so important to tackle what is a global issue.”

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Jan 30, 2024



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