Two drug lords of an international drug ring have been locked up for 31 years for smuggling £1.5 million of heroin into UK.

Tahir Mahmood, 53, of Ridge Grove was the man in control of the group that smuggled 46 kilo grams of Class A drugs from Pakistan into UK.

He pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown court and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

His accomplice Anwar Bashir, 43, of Bradford was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In two cases, there were mules that were caught bringing in Class A drugs through customs at Birmingham Airport.

Both men were under an investigation led by the National Crime Agency, supported by other agencies throughout Europe.

Judge James Burbidge told the defendants: ”When heroin is placed on the streets it creates misery to many.

”Many families are blighted, many communities blighted and you wanted to make money out of that.

”Neither of you are addicted to drugs, you were content to make money and accept the misery that would cause to others.”

Tahir Mahmood made an early guilty plea to 5 counts of importing heroin into the UK and 3 counts of assisting or inducing an offence abroad.

Anwar Bashir was found guilty of 2 counts of assisting or inducing an offence abroad and 1 count of count of importing heroin at Birmingham Crown Court during a trial

CPS Tim Hannam told the court, the drugs were bought into UK using many routes that went through Austria, Netherlands and Spain.

The pair travelled from the UK to Amsterdam then got onto a train to Dusseldorf airport where the security was not as strong as other countries.

However customs in Austria, Spain and Pakistan seized a string of drugs which eventually caught upto Bashir and Mahmood by the National Crime Agency

During the investigation, the National Crime Agency had placed bugs in Mahmoood’s car and his house which led to them being arrested.

The pair were charged with a heroin delivery that came through Birmingham Airport.

CCTV footage showed both men waiting for the courier Mamad Chagani. They then waited for a taxi that could accommodate the mule which was later stopped by the police and led to the seizure of the drugs.

CPS Mr Hannan told the court: ”He (Chagani) had flown by a different route this time, from Islamabad to Karachi to Dubai, and then on to Birmingham.

”Under his clothes, he was wearing a body suit stuffed with heroin.”

The police found four kilo grams of heroin on the mule.

Tahir Mahmood, 53, was jailed for 16 years and his accomplice Anwar Bashir, 43, was jailed for 15 years.

Paul Risby, Branch Commander at the National Crime agency welcomed the sentences handed down.

He said: “We proved Mahmood and Bashir were linked to seizures totalling 46 kilos but I believe the network could have been responsible for many more importations – bringing misery, harm and violence to communities in Birmingham, Bradford and cities across the UK and Europe.

“Tackling the supply of drugs on a global level and protecting the UK’s borders are priorities for the NCA and its partners. We targeted the couriers one by one and obtained the evidence that led to the downfall of the two men controlling the network. They are now behind bars where they belong.”