Wakefield drug dealer who sold heroin to undercover police is jailed after ‘disappearing’ for 10 years

A drug dealer who "disappeared" for more than 10 years after being caught in an undercover police sting has been jailed.

By Abbey Maclure
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 4:45 am

Babar Asfaq, 32, supplied crack cocaine and heroin to undercover officers from behind a book shop in Wakefield in 2011.

The officers were first directed to Madina Book Centre, in Pinderfields Road, on July 4 that year after calling a drugs line.

Between that date and August 15, Asfaq supplied the officers with Class A drugs on 10 occasions.

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Babar Asfaq, 32, has been jailed for 20 months (Photo: WYP)

On August 15, they were also sold the Class C drug Alprazolam after asking for a wrap of heroin.

On one occasion, officers were asked to clear rubbish after calling the drugs line and in return they were given crack cocaine by Asfaq.

Police also witnessed him supplying drugs to other people while they were at the book shop, which is now closed.

Prosecuting, Frances Pencheon said that Asfaq "disappeared" in 2011 and was at large until this year, when police received information that he was returning to the UK.

The offences took place at the Madina Book Centre, Pinderfields Road, Wakefield, which is now closed (Photo: Google)

He was arrested at Manchester Airport on April 14.

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Asfaq was charged with seven counts of supplying a controlled drug of Class A, crack cocaine, three counts of supplying a controlled drug of Class A, heroin, and one count of supplying a controlled drug of Class C, Alprazolam.

He pleaded guilty to all offences.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Asfaq, originally from Pakistan, was a 21-year-old student in Wakefield at the time the offences took place.

Kara Firth, mitigating, said he was in the country legitimately between 2010-2011 and when he finished his studies he returned to Pakistan.

At the time, he had not been arrested or spoken to by police in relation to the offences.

"He had no idea that he was wanted," Miss Firth said.

"Supporting his lack of knowledge, he returned to the UK 11 years later with his correct travel and identity documents."

The court heard that Asfaq has no previous convictions in the UK or in Pakistan.

He had returned to the UK with his parents on an EU visa and was planning to work and send money home to his wife and four young children.

Miss Firth added: "He's devastated of the shame he’s brought on his whole family.

"His past really has come to haunt him."

Recorder Edward Legard said there was "no suggestion" that Asfaq knew he was at risk of arrest when he left the UK.

He also accepted that Asfaq was acting under the instruction of others and that his awareness of the scale of the operation was "perhaps limited".

Passing his sentencing remarks, Recorder Legard said: "You were well aware of what you were doing and the fact that this was illegal.

"You are, no doubt, the proud father of four young children and you of all people must recognise the pain and suffering that drug addiction brings to so many.

"And even a low-level street dealer, even one acting under instruction as you are, is an important link in the chain - in terms of keeping Class A drugs in circulation.

"It is often the sad case that consequences of criminality fall heaviest, not on the offender, but the offender’s family."

Asfaq, of Derwent Road, Wakefield, was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Once released from jail, Recorder Legard said it was likely the immigration service would decide to deport Asfaq to Pakistan.