Candidate for ‘best press release’.
DRUG TRAFFICKING GANG SENTENCED TO OVER 150 YEARS IN NATIONAL CRIME SQUAD INVESTIGATION
Yesterday at Croydon Crown Court, the remaining two men were sentenced for their roles in a Heroin distribution network. Twelve people had already been sentenced in July 2002.
The National Crime Squad undertook the long-term operation, codenamed Florin, in March 2001. The investigation focused on Heroin sourced from several Turkish suppliers for distribution to Asian criminals based in the Midlands and the North of England.
The men (and one woman) were arrested at various stages between April and September 2001 while carrying out transactions. Officers seized drugs with a total value of approximately £2 million and recovered £55,000 in cash from one of the address of one of the defendants.
From the outset, it was clear that BULLICI and KAYANI would be the main targets of the operation. BULLICI had established links with Turkish Heroin suppliers in London and KAYANI, originally from Birmingham, had good connections there.
BULLICI used his close associate Ahmet ARITAN to organise sourcing the Heroin and he then used others to transport the drug. CHOLI was a trusted associate of BULLICI and was involved in two of the deals.
On the 14th March 2001, BULLICI, ARITAN and AZIZ were involved in the supply of 4 kg of Heroin to Khaliq REHMAN, who met AZIZ and collected a bag from him which he transported to Birmingham were he was arrested. AZIZ worked for KAYANI who had arranged the deal.
Another deal involved the supply of 4kg of Cannabis to NGWENYA in the Forest Hill area of London on 25th May 2001. CHOLI was given the Cannabis to deal to NGWENYA by ARITAN. ARITAN was usually seen sporting either a wig or a baseball cap.
On the 31st May 2001, BULLICI was involved in the supply of 1 kg of Heroin to Matthew SWAINE who travelled to the Oval area of London to collect it. Officers saw him with BULLICI, ARITAN, CHOLI and HULUS in Prima Rd, Oval. SWAINE left with 1kg Heroin, after which he was followed and arrested.
On 7th June 2001, HULUS and ARITAN were seen to collect 4 kg of Heroin from HULUS’ family address in Clapham, South London. HULUS gave the drugs to ARITAN and was arrested shortly afterwards. BULLICI and CHOLI were also arrested on this night.
ALI was arrested on 4th July 2001 after he collected 4 kg of Heroin from McCUTCHEON and AZIZ in London to take to Birmingham.
AZIZ and ZIHNI were arrested on the 24th July 2001 after an exchange of 4 kg of Heroin .
KAYANI, the main link between the Turkish dealers and the Asian community in Handsworth, was arrested at the end of the operation.
SEREN and IBRAHIM were arrested following observations of a drug exchange on the 19th April 2001 when they were seen at a public house in North London.
After several lengthy trials, the results are as follows:
was charged with Conspiracy to supply Heroin. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced yesterday to ten years.
was charged with Conspiracy to Supply Controlled Drugs and Conspiracy to Supply Heroin. He pleaded not guilty, but was convicted and sentenced to 18 years on 8th July 2002.
The judge ordered his deportation on completion of sentence.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced on 8th July 2002 to seven years with another seven years to run concurrently.
A man from Hackney was found not guilty. Another man from Essex was also found not guilty.
BULLICI had met KAYANI in prison in 1997 while serving a sentence for supplying Heroin. KAYANI was serving a sentence at the time for Conspiring to Murder.
During the trial, most defendants would claim they acted under duress from the PKK.
SEREN claimed he had acted under duress from the Turkish mafia, whom he owed £10,000; the final instalment of a 30k payment for his Romanian wife. He alleges to have bought her out of a 6 month prostitution contract in Cyprus. She claimed to have been kidnapped by human traffickers in Romania and forced into prostitution in a lap dancing club in Cyprus. On hearing his sentence, SEREN sank, ashen-faced into a chair.
DCI Alex Wood of the National Crime Squad commented; “This result sends a clear message to drug traffickers. The National Crime Squad has successfully dismantled a network that was responsible for major drug trafficking between London and the Handsworth area of Birmingham.
“We are grateful for assistance received from West Midlands Police, the British Transport Police and NCIS.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS;
1. This press release has been sent by Jean Byrne, HQ Corporate Communications, contactable on 020 7238 2510, or email [email protected].
2. The National Crime Squad – the country’s newest law enforcement agency – is a ‘can-do’ organisation which achieves continued and significant success in its attack on national and transnational serious and organised crime. Since it was formed in 1998 it has seized drugs worth almost £695 million, disrupted over 1000 criminal networks and identifie
d for confiscation through the courts over £104 million of convicted criminals’ illegally-gained assets. As well as predominantly focusing on drugs trafficking, the Squad now also features organised human trafficking and hi-tech criminality amongst its top priorities. It works closely with police forces and many other agencies both in the UK and abroad in its mission to tackle the top tier of criminality and their networks.
Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail [email protected]