Gang that smuggled cocaine into UK from Dubai jailed for a total of 167 years

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 group of 21 was a complex web of well-trained individuals who took illegal drugs to ‘industrial scale’.

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”.

But the smooth running of the operation collapsed when European police broke into the Encrochat phone system – a coded system used by criminals – giving UK police evidence to arrest the gang.

An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit found that the gang was led by Paldip Mahngar, 45, from his small terraced house in Derby.

A 21-person gang led by Paldip Mahngar, 45, at a Derby home imported more than £ 165million worth of cocaine into the UK from Dubai using the Encrochat coded phone system. They have now been jailed for a total of 167 years

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.

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, from Coventry, organized the logistics of transporting the drugs and having the gang’s revenues collected.

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.

After the drugs arrived in the UK, Jaswant Kajla (left), 41, of Coventry, organized the logistics of moving the drugs and organized the collection of the gang’s proceeds. Gang accountant Manraj Johal (right), 32, looked after the money collected, holding spreadsheets recording the gang’s financial situation

Johal, from 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.

When gang member Basharat Iqbal raided his home, police found £ 20,000 in £ 1,000 packets in a locked box and 3kg of cocaine stuck in a cupboard

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.

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.

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 industrial scale across the country, as well as the movement of millions of people of pounds in criminal cash every week.

From the messages seized on the Encrochat telephone system, the police were able to intercept a 7kg parcel of cocaine in Derby, April 2020

“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.

“The heavy sentences handed down today are a 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 derived 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. ”


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