A drug dealer has been jailed after police in the West Midlands found a stash of cocaine concealed in a secret compartment of his car.
Mohammed Shazad was monitored by police making repeated, suspicious visits to a Nissan Qasqai parked in Middlemore Road, Smethwick
Officers from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) arrested the 37-year-old on 7 February this year – and when the Qashqai was examined they found 10 1kg blocks of cocaine in a hide built beneath the rear seats.
Forensics experts examined the packages and confirmed some of the cocaine had a purity of around 99 per cent – and with a conservative value of £280,000.
At Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (25 Nov) Shazad, from Horton Road, Kinver, was imprisoned for nine years and 10 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Detective Inspector Michelle Keidron from ROCU, said: “Shazad was seen to make a number of visits to the car and come away with packages; he was arrested from another vehicle but found to be in possession of the Nissan Qashqai key.
“Under the rear seats was a secret hide – taking up part of the fuel tank space – operated with a sophisticated electronic lock. Inside was 10kg of cocaine plus weighing scales and some wraps of white powder.
“It was clearly his dealer car. He wanted to distance himself from the drugs and created a clever secret compartment that wasn’t noticeable on first inspection.
“He was dealing drugs on a significant scale and, no doubt, creating great harm in communities effected by his criminality. This is a very strong jail sentence and one that sends out a clear message: deal drugs and expect to spend a long time behind bars.”