An airport security officer has been jailed for 13 years for his part in an international drug smuggling ring.
Thirty-one-year old Farhan Iqbal worked at Heathrow Airport and used his knowledge and access to take consignments of class A drugs before passing them along to someone else, GetWestLondon reports reports.
He was caught by officers from the National Crime Agency in November last year.
He arrived at work in full-uniform, despite being off on sick leave, and passed through the security checks. He made his way to Terminal 5 where he would meet up with accomplice Camilo Pulido Suarez, 37, who had flown in from Bogota, Colombia.
Suarez was pulling a trolley bag with him, in which drugs were stashed.
Iqbal was found in the airport's toilets collecting 5.9kg of cocaine, with a street value of over £500,000.
His plan was to collect the drugs and hand them over to Wilmer Salazar Duarte, 44, who was waiting at the airport, but the men were caught by cops before they could carry out their plan.
National Crime Agency senior investigating officer Mark Abbott said: "Iqbal was pivotal to this organised crime group's ability to bring drugs into the UK. Without him it wouldn't have happened.
"The organised crime group viewed him as a valuable asset because his airside access reduced the risk for couriers.
"This form of corruption threatens the security of the UK border and public which is why the NCA sees it as a priority.
"Heathrow Airport provided invaluable assistance in this operation, and working with partners in the Metropolitan Police Service, Border Force and the aviation and airline authorities we will continue to crack these cases and target corrupt individuals working for criminal networks."
Iqbal, Suarez and Duarte were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday. Iqbal was convicted at trial and sentenced to 13 years. The two other men confessed to their part in the scheme - Suarez was handed a five year and three month sentence, while Wilmer was given seven and a half years.
Russell Tyner, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Farhan Iqbal was a valuable asset to the organised crime group because he had privileged access to the airside areas of Heathrow Airport.
"He abused his position to allow the other men to smuggle cocaine from Colombia.
"This was a sophisticated operation and each defendant played a role in the conspiracy.
"Three of the defendants pleaded guilty but Iqbal denied involvement. However, thanks to CPS prosecutors and the National Crime Agency working together to build a strong case, the jury found him guilty."