Wednesday 19 January 2022
3 C
Nottingham

Nottinghamshire criminals jailed for part in £165million drugs conspiracy

Two Nottinghamshire criminals who played a part in a mammoth drugs operation that made £400,000 a day have been jailed.

Vast amounts of high purity cocaine, as well as thousands of pounds in cash, were moved around the country in just over a year that the gang operated in.

The 21-strong group used encrypted phones in the hope that the operation – which involved importing multiple kilos of the drug from Dubai – would not be discovered.

The gang’s total earnings over the 408-day conspiracy is estimated to have been a staggering £165million.

Today, 18 defendants were jailed for a combined total of 167 years for the part they played in the conspiracy following four trials at Derby Crown Court.

The remaining three defendants will be sentenced at a later date.

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Among the defendants sentenced today were Nottinghamshire criminals Michael Karim and Kelly Williamson, who were described as “wholesale customers” in the conspiracy.

Karim, 36, of Standard Hill, Nottingham, was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine; conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property; possession of false identity documents; and possession of a smoke grenade.

Williamson, 57, of Mansfield Road, Papplewick, was jailed for five years and three months after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Prosecutors told the jury Karim – a married father-of-two – was responsible for at least 9kg of high purity cocaine and that a police search of his flat found a deactivated pump action shotgun, numerous weighing scales with powder on, jewellery worth upwards of £250,000 and an illegal military issue smoke grenade. Six fake identification cards were also found in his flat.

Meanwhile Williamson, also a father-of-two, was found to have received two packages of high purity cocaine after being placed under police surveillance.

The drugs gang was led by Paldip Mahngar, who organised in the region of 100kg of high-purity cocaine to be moved all over the country.

The 45-year-old used an encrypted EncroChat phone to order multiple kilos of the drug from contacts in Dubai – which was then distributed across the country by Jaswant Kajla.

From his home in Bluebird Drive, Coventry, Kajla organised the logistics of moving the drugs, along with the collecting of money from the gang’s customers.

The 41-year-old ensured that those delivering the cocaine had well-rehearsed cover stories as couriers who could deny their knowledge of the drugs they were delivering.

The money collected was dealt with by Manraj Johal – the gang’s accountant. The 32-year-old kept detailed Excel spreadsheets that showed the incomings, outgoings, and expenses of the gang.

Using another encrypted phone Johal, of Turnpike Drive, Luton, would then contact the upstream suppliers of the drugs to update them about how much money was being made.

The gang had two “offices” in Luton and Derby where millions of pounds flowed through from their cocaine sales – with an estimated £18.6m being made by the gang between 16 March and 30 April 2020, a daily total of £400,000 which officers used to estimate the gang’s total earnings over the 408-day conspiracy to be a staggering £165,208,208.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Walters, who lead the investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), said: “This was a massive undertaking by a very skilled and determined investigation team to dismantle a gang which was responsible for the industrial scale wholesale supply of cocaine across the country, along with the movement of millions of pounds in criminal cash each week.

“While the gang’s use of a ‘token’ system to monitor their cash flow and the encrypted Encrochat handsets to coordinate their business showed a level of sophistication, they merely acted as a breadcrumb trail for us to see the scale of the ‘business’, and identify each member of the organised crime group, as well as every sale they had made.

“The hefty sentences given today are not only a testament to an impressive regional investigation, but also to the power of collaborative law enforcement on a national and international scale.

“And we’ve not finished yet. Through the Proceeds of Crime Act we will now seek to identify and seize any assets amounted from the running of this illicit enterprise, to ensure those responsible are not only stripped of their freedom, but also of any profits made through their criminal activities.”

Other members of the gang received the following sentences:

  • Paldip Mahngar, 45, of Willow Close, Derby – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for 18 years and three months
  • Jaswant Kajla, 41, of Bluebird Drive, Coventry – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for 15 years and three months
  • Manraj Johal, 32, of Turnpike Drive, Luton – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for 15 years and eight months
  • Manvir Singh AKA Manveer Khakh, 33, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for 13 years
  • Nimrat Bahia, 26, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for seven years and one month
  • Ranjit Sandhu, 49, of Carrington Street, Derby – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for six years and ten months
  • Basharat Iqbal, 46, of Cromwell Road, Derby – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for seven years and nine months
  • Banaras Iqbal, 42, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for four years and nine months
  • John Castledine, 63, of Harrington Street, Derby – conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for seven years and three months
  • Adil Saddique, 35, of Portland Street, Derby – conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for four years and seven months
  • Shimei Connell, 38, of Pearson Avenue, Coventry – conspiracy to supply heroin and possession of cannabis with intent to supply – jailed for seven years and nine months
  • Jermaine Callender, 44, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply heroin – jailed for three years
  • Joseph Davidson, 41, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin and possession of cocaine with intent to supply – jailed for 10 years and two months
  • Nathaniel Collymore, 39, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property – jailed for seven years and five months
  • Mohammad Shafiq, 38, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property and possession of a stun gun – jailed for 12 years
  • Marvin Johnson, 41, of HMP Nottingham – conspiracy to supply heroin – jailed for 11 years and six months
 

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