Drug trafficker who went on the run for 10 years jailed

A French drug trafficker who was tracked down by the National Crime Agency after spending almost a decade on the run has been jailed for 19 years.

Hoosain Faweez Mungur, 62, was living in a £2 million house in Woodford Green, Redbridge, when he was initially arrested on 10 May 2013.

Border Force officers carried out a search of his car as he got off a ferry at Harwich. Four kilos of cocaine were found concealed inside a spare tyre, and the case was referred to the NCA.

Following questioning Mungur was bailed pending further enquiries, but in 2014 he disappeared after initially telling officers he was returning to France for medical treatment.

In November 2016 a UK-bound lorry was stopped at border controls in Calais. Inside the load officers found 45 kilos of cocaine and 25 kilos of heroin, hidden within a pallet containing boxes of hair extensions.

Evidence uncovered by the NCA showed that Mungur had been the organiser for the shipment and several others in previous months, with companies and phone numbers linked to him recorded on the shipping details.

The drugs would be sent to contacts in the UK and in return, payments were made into bank accounts belonging to front companies set up by Mungur. Two of his co-conspirators would later be jailed for four-and-a-half years each for money laundering offences in 2019.

Mungur was eventually located and arrested as he attempted to board a flight to the Dominican Republic at Madrid Airport in Spain in June 2023. He was extradited back to the UK two months later to stand trial.

On June 20 a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court found him guilty of three counts of importing class A drugs and one count of money laundering.

The following day a judge sentenced him to 19 years in prison.

NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said: “Mungur was a career drug trafficker with convictions in France and Germany before he came to the UK.

“Following his initial arrest he fled the country, and continued his criminal activity from overseas.

“After spending so long at large he may have thought he was safe living abroad, but the NCA worked with international partners to have him returned to the UK to face justice.

“This case demonstrates the NCA’s determination to do all we can to track down and put before the courts those involved in serious organised crime.”