Arti Dhir and Kavaljitsinh Raijada were each sentenced to 33 years in prison today (Tuesday 30 January) after exporting more than half a tonne of cocaine to Australia.
The news comes after a National Crime Agency investigation found they were behind a front company that had sent the drugs by plane under a cover load of metal toolboxes. Judge’s commendations were awarded to three NCA officers who worked on the case.
Piers Phillips, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Arti Dhir and Kavaljitsinh Raijada used their insider knowledge of the air freight industry to traffic cocaine worth tens of millions of pounds from the UK to Australia, where they knew they could maximise their revenue.
“They kept their illicit profits in cash at their home and in storage units, as well as purchasing property, gold and silver in an attempt to hide their wealth. These defendants may have thought they were removed from the misery caused by the drugs trade but their greed was fuelling it.
“The NCA worked closely with our partners in Australia and UK Border Force to dismantle the supply chain created by Dhir and Raijada and bring them to justice. We will continue to target class A drugs supply and the criminals overseeing it, both in the UK and overseas.”
Arti Dhir, 59, and Kavaljitsinh Raijada, 35, from Hanwell, Ealing, were identified by NCA investigators after Australian Border Force intercepted the cocaine, worth £57 million, upon its arrival in Sydney in May 2021.