Top heroin gang; UK politicians; UK customs.
aangirfan | March 29 2006
The Guardian, 28 March 2006, has an excellent story about heroin.
According to the Guardian, members of an international crime gang were allowed to come to Britain because their leader had links to Customs & Excise.
The evidence for this came out at an immigration appeals tribunal.
The Baybasin Cartel, a Kurdish gang, controlled up to 90% of the heroin which entered the UK.
Its bosses settled in the UK in the mid-1990s.
Gang members were involved in protection rackets and extortion in the UK, and were linked to up to 25 murders.
The gang's members were allowed to move from Turkey to London, allegedly after their leader, Huseyin Baybasin, agreed to tell Customs investigators what he knew about the involvement of senior Turkish politicians and officials in the international heroin trade.
Reportedly, Baybasin was encouraged by Customs to come to the UK and arrived via Gibraltar in either late 1994 or early 1995.
He first met Customs officers in a hotel near Tower Bridge, London.
Having come to the UK, the Baybasin Cartel ran their vast drug trafficking operation from London.
They and their relatives persuaded a number of politicians to support their attempts to obtain British travel documents.
Among those who agreed to help was Tony McNulty, the current immigration minister, who wrote a number of letters on behalf of Baybasin's wife after her husband was arrested in the Netherlands.
Baybasin, 49, is now serving a life sentence in a Dutch jail.
His brother, Abdullah, 45, who took the helm after his conviction, has now been convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin.
It was at Abdullah Baybasin's asylum hearings that the alleged deal with Customs & Excise was disclosed.
Abdullah was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK last year.
Several other relatives also remain in the UK.
Michael Howard was home secretary at the time when the Baybasins came to the UK.
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