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HIGH TIME; Birkby man jailed for 8 years after smuggling opium in ornate clocks.

Byline: EXAMINER

A BIRKBY father-of-one has been jailed for eight years after a jury found him guilty of involvement in a sophisticated opium smuggling operation.

Ibrahim Yusif, 33, was arrested last July after a package containing nearly five kilos of the Class A drug was found hidden inside ornate clocks.

The package had been intercepted by customs officers at East Midlands Airport.

Two days later the package, worth pounds 30,000, was delivered by an undercover police officer to the home of Yusif's then girlfriend, Cheryl Page, at Langdale Drive, Dalton.

Yusif, of Scholes Road, was arrested after the package was signed for.

Yesterday a jury at Bradford Crown Court found him guilty of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on importing the drug.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Kurdish Yusif, via an interpreter, that he was recommending his deportation from the United Kingdom after his release from the prison term.

"You are to be sentenced for a serious scheme to import opium into this country.

"It was a scheme that required a deal of organisation both in Turkey and here, but it required from you here an innocent dupe and you found that dupe in Cheryl Page.

"You abused her affection for you.

You softened her up by arranging for an innocent parcel to be sent to her home. You opened it in front of her to show her that it contained clothing and innocent goods." The judge said the parcel containing the opium also had Miss Page's name on it and he noted that earlier in the proceedings she had stood in the dock alongside Yusif.

"Had it not been for the decision of the Crown, there was every risk that she too would be on her way to prison now," said Judge Rose.

"Fortunately the Crown saw where the truth was and chose not to proceed against her.

"Had this scheme succeeded, thousands of doses of a serious and dangerous Class A drug would have been available for use in this country.

"Those who involve themselves in such sophisticated schemes to import death into the United Kingdom can expect only long sentences of imprisonment."

CAPTION(S):

CONVICTED: Ibrahim Yusif, who was jailed for eight years yesterday over a drug smuggling operation involving opium
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 23, 2009
Words:379
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