Drug dealer jailed after spending a year on the run
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A drug dealer who fled the country to avoid being apprehended by police has been jailed for more than five years.
Mohamed Samankar, who is a Swedish national, was arrested in his birth country in March of this year, following 11 months of significant police work by Leicestershire detectives to track him down.
Today (18 June) at Leicester Crown Court he was sentenced to five years and four months for his part in the supply and distribution of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and heroin – mainly in the St Matthews area of the city.
The 28-year-old of no fixed address, along with his associate Tanzim Suka, was identified during Operation Lionheart as being involved in a joint conspiracy to supply class A drugs after a dedicated phone line used to strike deals was uncovered.
During November 2018 and March 2019, it is estimated the pair supplied around half a kilo of the illegal substances – believed to have a street value of around £40,000.
Suka was arrested in April last year on day one of the operation’s enforcement phase. He pleaded guilty to the offences and two months later was imprisoned for six years.
Several attempts were made by Leicestershire officers to arrest Samankar but following further investigation detectives discovered he had fled the UK to avoid being caught.
Months of work then began to try and trace him and after further enquires were carried out in liaison with European authorities it was believed Samankar was hiding out in the Nyköping area of Sweden.
A European Arrest Warrant was granted and he was identified and arrested by local Swedish police. After being extradited Leicestershire officers made the 2,400 mile roundtrip to bring him back to the UK to face two conspiracy charges.
Samankar will now be sent back to Sweden to serve his prison sentence.
Chief Superintendent Adam Streets, head of local policing, said: “Operation Lionheart was a huge police operation aimed at tackling the sale and distribution of drugs in Leicester and Leicestershire.
“Samankar was identified as being a key player in this arena and following months of gathering evidence against him and more than 100 other suspects we carried out a significant number of arrests.
“Several attempts were made to detain Samankar but it was clear he had left the country to avoid being apprehended. Following months of hard work and dedication by detectives he was located and brought back to the UK to face justice. I am pleased to see this has now been served.”
Another defendant also identified as part of the operation has also been sentenced this week.
At Leicester Crown Court on Monday (15 June), Mark Woolman, 25, of Sandown Road, Leicester was given 10 months in prison, suspended for 20 months, for permitting the use of premises for the supply of class A drugs between 10 February 2018 and 16 April 2019. He was also ordered to attend drug rehabilitation.