Hugh French secures convictions of “Breaking Bad” married couple

January 31, 2024

Hugh French, leading Phoebe Bragg of 5KBW, has secured convictions of a London-based married couple who had orchestrated an elaborate operation which was described in court akin to the gripping narratives of American TV crime dramas Ozark and Breaking Bad.

Arti Dhir, 59, and Kavaljitsinh Raijada, 35, received sentences of 33 years each following their convictions in a high-profile international drug smuggling plot which saw them guilty of exporting more than six tonnes of cocaine from the UK to Australia. Australian Border Force intercepted one of the shipments of the cocaine, worth £57 million, upon its arrival in Sydney.

Dhir had been employed by a flight services company at Heathrow from March 2003 until October 2016. Raijada worked at the same company from March 2014 to December 2016. NCA investigators believe that their knowledge of the airport freight procedures was used to cover their criminal activities.

The arrests took place at the couple’s Ealing residence in June 2021, where officers seized cash and bullion from inside their home and from a safety deposit box.  The investigation revealed that both defendants had deposited nearly £740,000 in cash into 22 different bank accounts since 2019, leading to additional charges of money laundering. After their second arrest investigators found a lockup the couple had rented in someone else’s name; inside surprised officials found £3 million in cash.

Dhir and Raijada were found guilty of 12 counts of drug smuggling and 18 charges related to money laundering by a jury at Southwark Crown Court following a three month trial. The NCA will now start Proceeds of Crime proceedings against both defendants to strip them of their assets.

Hugh French is instructed in serious cases of Fraud, Serious Violence and Sexual Offences. Read more: [Hugh French Profile]

He was instructed in this case by the Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate of the CPS.

News stories:

[Sky News]

[Daily Mail]


[National Crime Agency]