A husband and wife who used drones to smuggle drugs and phones into prisons including Downview in Sutton have been jailed. 

Sajad Hashimi and Zerka Maranay, of Compayne Gardens, South Hampstead, worked together to carry out more than 100 drone flights into 11 different prisons or young offender institutes (YOIs). 

An investigation was launched after a drone crashed in the grounds of HMP Highpoint in Suffolk in July 2023. 

Fishing line and hooks were attached the drone along with a package containing heroin, steroids, chargers, tobacco, SIM cards and mobile phones, which had a combined prison value of up to £19,500. 

It was later discovered that on 78 dates between August 2022 and October 2023, 27-year-old Hashimi had smuggled contraband into Onley, The Mount, Maidstone, High Down, Guys Marsh, Garth, Wormwood Scrubs, Highpoint, Brixton and Edinburgh prisons and Downview YOI.

His wife, 28-year-old Maranay, assisted Hashimi by hiring at least 20 cars that he used to travel to and from prisons and YOIs. 

The cars cost in the region of £17,000. 

She also used used her bank account to launder nearly £50,000, which her husband had been paid for piloting the drones and delivering the illegal contraband at a pre-arranged drop point within the grounds of each of the prisons. 

Their South Hampstead home was searched on August 3 last year. 

A drone and drugs were recovered and Hashimi was arrrested. 

Hashimi later pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class B drugs into prisons and conspiring to convey prohibited articles into prisons, as well as conspiring to supply Class A drugs. 

Maranay pleaded guilty to conspiring to convey prohibited articles into prisons and money laundering. 

On Monday (April 29) at Northamton Crown Court Hashimi was jailed for six years and was issued a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order that will come into effect once he is released from prison. 

Maranay was given a 15-month prison sentence for her part in the enterprise. 

Prisons and probation minister Edward Argar said: “Our beefed-up anti-drone no-fly zones – along with drug detection dogs and airport-style security – are helping us lock up organised criminals and crack down on drugs behind bars. 
“This sentencing is a warning to those who think they won’t be caught. We will find you and ensure you face the full force of the law.”