An air hostess who teamed up with a former public schoolboy to smuggle £250,000 worth of cocaine into the country wept as she was jailed for eight years.
Mandeep Shahi, 27, took advantage of lax security while working for Air Canada to smuggle four kilos of the drug on board in her luggage.
After breezing through customs checks after landing at Heathrow, she headed to a hotel to deliver the goods to a pair of major drug dealers.
She was caught by an undercover police operation but was only arrested on her return to Britain five months later after detectives identified her using CCTV footage.
Shahi claimed she had been an unwitting drugs mule - but a jury at Southwark Crown Court found her guilty of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.
Southwark Crown Court heard it was highly unlikely Air Canada cabin crew would be subjected to random drug searches as Canada was not considered a high-risk country for drug smuggling.
Former public schoolboy Simon Howard-Harwood and Baljinder Nijjar, both 28, who collected the drugs she smuggled into Britain had admitted conspiracy to supply prohibited drugs, while minicab driver Ghulem Malik, 53, was convicted of ferrying drugs for the pair.
On March 26 this year, Shahi flew into Heathrow from Toronto.
After leaving the airport she checked into the Danubius Hotel, in Regent’s Park, central London - which was being staked out by undercover drugs officers who had been on the trail of Nijjar and Howard-Harwood for months.
Nijjar was seen going into Shahi’s room and left carrying a blue Air Canada Bag - thought to contain the drugs.
He then walked to room 221 where Howard-Harwood was staying and left empty-handed.
Shortly afterwards taxi driver Malik, who ferried drugs for the dealers, went to Howard-Harwood’s room, and left with a bag which he loaded into his vehicle and drove away.
When police stopped him they found a kilo of cocaine in his car.
When officers raided Howard-Harwood’s room they found him dressed in his underpants, with a line of coke on a surface ready for him to snort - and the remaining 3kg of cocaine in a wardrobe.
Officers then seized 25kg of cannabis resin from a London safe house connected to the gang.
Shahi was not arrested at that stage and she unsuspectingly flew back to Canada.
Giving evidence Shahi insisted that she had only packed her bag with clothes, and had no idea it contained drugs.
‘It was a regular day, a regular flight, a normal situation for me,’ she told jurors.
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