Gang that imported £ 165million worth of cocaine into UK jailed for 167 years
The group consisted of 21 members who all played a role in the program from checkouts, couriers and wholesale customers.
A gang that organized the importation of more than £ 165million of cocaine into the country has been jailed for a total of 167 years.
The 21 members of the group were a complex network, each ensuring the smooth running of illicit cases.
The main members of the gang were traveling to Dubai to meet their contact with the cocaine which they boasted of being in a “mill a week”.
They were discovered after the secure Encrochat system they were using was infiltrated by police.
An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit found that the gang was led by Paldip Mahngar, 45, from his modest terraced house in Willow Close, Darley Abbey, Derby.
Gang won £ 165million over 408 days
Mahngar was using an encrypted phone with the Encrochat system to order many kilograms of cocaine from contacts in Dubai – Jaswant Kajla was then responsible for distributing the drug across the country.
Kajla, 41, of Bluebird Drive, Coventry, organized the logistics of moving the drugs and arranged for the gang’s revenue collection.
He made sure that the distributors were all repeated, acting as couriers to distribute their illicit drugs to buyers.
The gang’s accountant, Manraj Johal, 32, looked after the money collected, holding spreadsheets recording the gang’s financial situation.
Johal, of Turnpike Drive, Luton, then used another encrypted phone to relay his activity to his superiors.
Over the 408 days the gang would have earned £ 165,208,208 – at one point it was thought they were making up to £ 400,000 a day from their ‘offices’ in Derby and Luton.
Police were already investigating the gang and its crimes when the Encrochat phone system – a coded system used by criminals – was infiltrated by European police.
Seized messages led to drug interception
From the seized messages, the police were able to intercept a 7 kg package of cocaine in Derby in April 2020.
When gang member Basharat Iqbal raided his home, police found £ 20,000 in £ 1,000 packages in a locked box and 3kg of cocaine stuck in a cupboard.
In total, the gang was jailed for a total of 167 years, with the leaders receiving the most. Three of those involved will be sentenced at a later date for their role in the program.
Paldip Mahgar was given 18 years and three months, Jaswant Kajla 15 years and three months, Manraj Johal 15 years and eight months and Manvir Singh was given 13 years.
DCI Tim Walters, who led the investigation, said: “This was a massive undertaking of a very competent and determined investigative team to dismantle a gang responsible for the wholesale supply of cocaine to the United States. industrial scale across the country, as well as the movement of millions of people. pounds in criminal cash every week.
“While the gang’s use of a ‘token’ system to monitor their cash flow and the encrypted Encrochat handsets to coordinate their activities have shown a level of sophistication, they have simply served as a breadcrumb trail for us. allow you to see the scale of the “business”, and identify each member of the organized criminal group, as well as any sales they have made.
“Today’s heavy sentences are testament not only to an impressive regional investigation, but also to the power of collaborative law enforcement nationally and internationally.
“And we haven’t finished yet. Thanks to the Proceeds of Crime Act, we will now seek to identify and seize all assets resulting from the management of this illicit enterprise, to ensure that those responsible are not only deprived of their liberty, but also of all. profits made from their criminal activities. “
Who else was involved in the operation and what did they do?
Besides the main players, other gang members have helped move drugs and money across the country. This included couriers Ranjit Sandhu, Basharat Iqbal, Banaras Iqbal and Tyrone Gibbons. While John Castledine and Adil Saddique acted as counters.
The drugs were bought by wholesale customers, the following people buying cocaine by the kilo, Michael Karim, Kelly Williamson, Nathaniel Collymore, Narinderpal Sahota, Mohammad Shafiq and Joseph Davidson.
Further evidence found by officers showed that four of the men were also involved in the supply of heroin between January and February 2020.
Shimei Connell and Joseph Davidson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply heroin – while Marvin Johnson and Jermaine Callender were convicted at trial.
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