Organised crime group jailed
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Four members of an organised crime group who hid class A drugs in a cereal box have been jailed for more than 50 years between them for their part in supplying drugs.
Officers from East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) carried out a covert operation in 2019 into the supply of class A drugs in Birmingham, Leicester and Peterborough.
The main ring leader, Eashan Chowdhury, arranged for his ‘workers’ to travel to various locations and collect wholesale amounts of heroin.
During a police operation in July 2019, officers intercepted a delivery of three kilograms of heroin with a street value of more than £150,000. The drugs were concealed in a cereal box (pictured) and had been collected from Abubakr Zubair in Birmingham. Zubair was identified as the supplier.
When Chowdhury was arrested in October 2019, he attempted to get rid of cocaine by throwing it out of a window. Unfortunately for him, he was caught in the act.
Drugs paraphernalia was recovered from Chowdhury’s home in Leicester including plastic bags used for packing the drugs, a powdered cutting agent used to bulk out the drugs, dealers’ lists setting out the money owed by various customers and also digital weighing scales.
Mohammed Khan, Samadul Islam, Mohammed Miah and Azid Khan, were identified as Chowdhury’s workers. Mohammed Khan was also known as Chowdhury’s right-hand man.
Phones were examined during the investigation which showed the level of communication between the group at all hours of the day and night. One particular phone had an image of a large sum of cash in a bag (pictured), believed to be from the proceeds of crime.
The EMSOU operation resulted in all six defendants being charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
During the various court proceedings, the defendants were convicted and sentenced as follows:-
- Abubakr Zubair, 22, formerly of Hampton Road, Aston, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) offences at an earlier hearing. On Friday 9 April, he was jailed for 12 years and nine months.
- Eashan Chowdhury, 24, formerly of Jubilee Gardens, Leicester, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and possession with intent to supply cocaine after a trial. He was sentenced on Friday 9 April to 17 years in prison.
- Mohammed Khan, 22, formerly of Avon Street, Leicester, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to supply heroin. On Friday 9 April he was jailed for 11 years and three months.
- Samadul Islam, 23, formerly of Skipworth Street, Leicester, pleaded guilty in February this year to conspiracy to supply heroin. On Friday 9 April he was jailed for 10 years and two months.
Mohammed Miah, 22, of Hamilton Street, Leicester, and Azid Khan, 23, of Avon Street, Leicester, pleaded guilty on Friday 23 April to POCA offences. They were both sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years.
Investigator Rachael Robinson, was one of the investigating officers from EMSOU on the operation. She said: “This was a lengthy and complex investigation involving a number of people involved in the supply of class A drugs. Chowdhury was identified as the ringleader who directed others.
“This was an organised crime group who made attempts to cover their tracks and went as far as concealing drugs in cereal boxes and other packaging.
“Ultimately the operation stopped more than 10 kilos of Class A drugs from hitting our streets. Drugs are a blight on society and lead to the breakdown of families and relationships. We take drugs misuse extremely seriously and will use our powers to rid the streets of these harmful substances.”