The ringleader of a multi million drugs smuggling ring was about to open at least one business in Thornton Heath when he was arrested.

Now Heathrow baggage handler Joysen Jhurry, 41, who admitted conspiracy to import class A drugs is facing 16 years in jail.

With the help of  his brother-in-law, Preetam Mungrah, 44, who was jailed for 13 years and six months after being convicted of consipiracy,  they masterminded a ‘ phenomenally lucrative’ plot which saw hundreds of kilos of high purity cocaine pass through Heathrow Airport. 

Drug laden suitcases were flown into Heathrow Airport from Brazil and were moved from the international arrivals carousel to the domestic arrivals hall to avoid security checks.

The bags would then be collected by couriers arriving on internal fights from other airports in the UK.

However, their lifestyles didn’t reflect this wealth Mungrah, a Mauritian national, who was given Indefinite Leave to Remain in 2013, was living in modest accommodation above the newsagents on Woodville Road with his partner Kamladevi Veersamy who has had her Leave To Remain status refused.

Jhurry of Banstead, Surrey had leased  The Studio cafe at 38 Brigstock Road, from Southern Rail and started conversion work following planning permission in October 2015  but the shop never opened and was repossesed by the rail company and remains empty.

Jhurry and Mungrah had also set up enterprises selling cars and others trading in public houses and bars, possibly as a way of cleaning the drugs money.  One was set up in Jhurry’s wife’s name: Thornton Heath Heart Ltd but has since been dissolved.

The 13-strong gang were only caught when one of their  number tried to pass drugs under a table in Burger King.

The arrests came after an 18-month investigation led by the National Crime Agency who had intercepted on six occasions a total of 101 kilos of cocaine.

The street value was £16million but ‘there were undoubtedly other occasions 

when it is reasonable to infer and believe that cocaine was successfully smuggled into the country,’ prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood said.

These other occasions mean the cash flow would have ‘run into the tens of millions of pounds.’

When Jhurry was arrested by police they asked if he was expecting them, he replied, ‘No, but I’m glad you have come, it’s a relief to be honest – I am glad it’s all over.’  

He claimed to be in fear of his life after a cartel in South America threatened to kill him.