A prisoner who hid and distributed drugs in Weetabix boxes and Kinder eggs from a prison warehouse has been sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

Saeed Ghani, of Polefield Circle, Prestwich, Manchester worked at HMP Kirkham's DHL warehouse where he packed prisoner canteen orders for eight prisons in the North West.

These packs typically contain food, drink and toiletries that prisoners are able to buy.

Once put together, they are delivered internally to the respective prisons by contracted DHL employees.

In 2017, the prison received intelligence to suggest the warehouse was being used as a distribution point by prisoners for drugs and contraband.

A joint investigation began between the Prison Anti-Corruption Unit at the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the Prison Service's Serious Organised Crime Unit and HMP Kirkham Security Team.

Ghani was subsequently arrested on July 26, 2018, when CCTV and forensic evidence linked him to drugs and contraband seized from the warehouse.

Ghani, who was serving a prison sentence at the time of his arrest, has been jailed for two years and 11 months after pleading guilty to the following offences:

  • Possession with intent to supply class A drugs
  • Possession with intent to supply class B drugs (cannabis)
  • Possession with intent to supply class C drugs (anabolic steroids)
  • Possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance
  • Possession of prohibited articles in a prison (mobile phones)

Detective Inspector Tanya Kitchen from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit said: "This is another successful investigation between our Prison Anti-Corruption Unit and HMPPS.

"Ghani concealed the drugs and contraband in 'canteen' items such as Weetabix boxes, milk cartons and Kinder eggs.

“Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, drugs and other contraband with a prison value of more than of £130,000 was prevented from getting into jails across the North West.

“Prison investigators have worked hard to bring Ghani to justice and put an end to his involvement in this drug dealing network.

"This is another example of how when given the intelligence as we have in this case, we will look to disrupt drugs activity in prisons."

Ali Black, Governor at HMP Kirkham said: “This is an example of excellent joint work between HMP Kirkham’s Security department and NWROCU to identify, disrupt and secure conviction against those who attempt to continue criminal activity in custody.

"Preventing illicit items entering and being distributed makes our prisons safer. We continue to work closely to actively challenge organised criminal activity in our prisons.

""Those who are determined to exploit our systems and continue to engage in criminal activity will be dealt with robustly.

"Drugs in prisons impact directly on the vulnerable men and women in custody.

"They increase mental health issues, often increasing self-harm, and levels of violence, as well as undermining public confidence in the work completed in open prisons.

"This case shows a concerted and determined effort to exploit prison systems providing essential supplies to prisoners across the North West as well as the trust placed in those men in open conditions.

"The sentencing of the court shows that smuggling of drugs into prisons will not be tolerated."