Illegal cannabis-based products business shut down after two jailed
Main article content
A business-like operation producing and distributing cannabis products has been shut down after two people were jailed for a number of offences.
The offending of one of those people spanned over nearly 12 years.
In March 2020 the force launched an investigation after postal packages of cannabis and THC based products were intercepted in Northamptonshire, having originated from Leicestershire.
The investigation identified an illegal business that produced and distributed cannabis-based products across the UK, containing THC (a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis).
Amrit Pal was identified as the man behind the operation and the investigation revealed his offending went as far back as 2011.
Detectives uncovered the true scale of his criminality after they recovered numerous promotional videos and images of cannabis production. The cannabis was then being used to manufacture various products on a long-term commercial scale.
He rented two factory units in Leicester for his drugs operation and used social media to promote the manufactured products his company - known as Purple THC or HighgradeSingh.
Some of the THC products produced and supplied were advertised as having CBD health benefits, putting people’s lives at risk.
Over 12 years he is estimated to have had an income in excess of £800,000. A number of PayPal accounts in Pal’s name were identified and were used by customers to pay for their orders.
When officers searched premises associated to 34-year-old Pal they recovered drugs with an estimated street value in excess of £172,000.
The evidence recovered during the investigation showed his lavish lifestyle funded through criminality including stays in high-end hotels, lavish holidays abroad and purchasing designer jewellery and clothes.
At Leicester Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 9 August), Pal, formerly of Brent Knowle Gardens, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to production and supply of class B drugs between July 2011 and February 2023.
During the investigation Manjeet Behal, was identified as having links with Pal. A warrant was executed at his home address in Uppingham Road and a number of cannabis plants and cultivating equipment was discovered.
At a previous hearing, 36-year-old Behal pleaded guilty to producing a controlled class B drug, being concerned in the supply of a controlled class B drug and acquire/use/possess criminal property between June 2020 and January 2022.
He was also sentenced yesterday to 18 months imprisonment.
Detective Constable Owen Bird is the investigating officer in the case. He said: “To say this has been a lengthy and complex case is putting it lightly. The visual evidence we recovered following searches at properties associated with Pal was vast and it took a considerable amount of time for us to piece together his offending and how far back it went.
“The whole business was set-up on a professional level and the promotional material we recovered showed the lengths Pal went to promote and sell his products, even enlisting the support of social media influencers.
“The case itself generated more than 450 evidential documents, including witness statements, financial paperwork and forensic reports, as well as more than 5000 images and over 600 videos.
“During the investigations he continued to offend despite being released under investigation. He had no regard for his actions and the health risks his products posed to customers. Often, promoting the products of having medicinal benefits, such as curing hair loss and skin conditions.
“This case is believed to be one of the longest time periods of offending to be prosecuted in the UK for these types of offences.
“We are pleased Pal and Behal pleaded guilty to their part in this business-like operation. The evidence against Pal was overwhelming and he had no choice but to admit his guilt.
“While this is a great result and a testament to all the hard work that has gone into securing this outcome, we are no way complacent. We know where there is one gap others are waiting to fill it. Our commitment to tackling the misuse of drugs continues and we will bring perpetrators of such offences to justice.
“Anyone who has any information about the misuse of drugs or has any suspicions about an individual’s activity is urged to report it to us. The easiest way to report information is via www.leics.police.uk or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.”