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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Teacher Linked to 'Drugs, Guns & Criminals'

From The Star:

A TEACHER at a school in Sheffield was also a trusted assistant in a criminal underworld of drug dealing, laundered money, and guns, a court heard.
Armed police swooped on a garage in Norwood, Sheffield, and found Imran Mohammed - a 23-year-old teacher at Yewlands School in Parson Cross - inside with two sawn-off shotguns.

On searching the premises, described at Sheffield Crown Court as a drug factory, they also uncovered more than £500,000 in cash and various appliances which were found to contain traces of heroin.

Mohammed was arrested along with Shamraze Khan Bashir, 28, of Norwood Road, Norwood, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering, being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, possessing a firearm without a licence, and shortening a shotgun.

Mohammed denies the same charges and is on trial.

Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, told jurors Mohammed's very presence in Bashir's garage that day showed he was a "trusted assistant" of Bashir.

He added: "No-one would be allowed so close to such activities if they were not party to them. Criminals do not welcome observers - they risk detection by any form of publicity or outside knowledge of their activities."

The jury heard Mohammed, of Goddard Hall Road, Fir Vale, arrived at Bashir's house at around 6.15pm on November 10 last year.

He parked his car on a nearby street rather than on the drive or outside the house - evidence, Mr Sheldon said, of him trying to avoid being seen.

Around 10 minutes later a policeman walked past the garage and heard the sound of sawing coming from inside. Armed police arrived on the scene around 20 minutes later and, on entering the garage, found the two men. One of the guns had its barrel removed, while the other had the stock removed.

A pair of gardening gloves were found to contain skin flakes which matched Mohammed's DNA, along with metal fragments from both of the guns.

The hooded sweatshirt he was wearing that night also contained metal fragments.

On searching the garage officers found £531,805 in cash stuffed in Tesco carrier bags in a cupboard, along with £9,350 in counterfeit cash.

A hydraulic press was found to contain traces of heroin, and traces of the Class A drug were also found on a knife in the garage and on a vacuum cleaner.

Mr Sheldon said all the findings pointed towards the garage being used as a "drug factory".

The trial continues.

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