6 July 2011

Al Qaeda's heroin gangs in Luton & Dunstable

Further reading: Heroin - The Golden sword of Jihad

Further reading: The Street Jihad - Heroin: The Weapon of War

Further reading: Militant Islam in Luton & Dunstable

Video: Heroin Jihad in Luton

Luton & Dunstable Express

Six members involved in a nationwide drugs conspiracy have been sent to prison for a total of 66 years.

The ‘Boss’ Adil Khan, of Woodford Green, was himself given a 19-year sentence for his part at the centre of the Luton-based conspiracy.

He drove a series of expensive cars, including a Maserati and Rolls Royce despite having no obvious means of income and no traceable bank accounts or credit cards.

Bedfordshire Police monitored the conspirators’ activities between October 2009 and July 2010.

The first arrests were made in January 2010, when a man and three women were arrested in Reading in possession of about 3kg of heroin, with a street value of £150,000.

More arrests were made in March 2010 in Birmingham, where two men were arrested in possession of heroin worth £400,000, followed by a seizure of £50,000 of heroin in transit on the M1 – which is known to have come from a flat in Luton.

At the end of March 2010, police raidedthat flat in Farley Hill and found a drug-pressing factory with 2kg of heroin, a mechanical press, various white powders used to dilute purity of heroin ready for sale on the street, packaging materials and scales.

Khan, 28, pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine at an earlier hearing at Luton Crown Court. On Thursday he was caged for 19 years.

Those others jailed for conspiracy to supply class A drugs were:

  • Mohammed Ayub, 21, of Bishopscote Road, Luton - ten years and six months (found guilty by a jury)
  • Kamran Bashir, 29, of Claremont Road, Luton - eight years and six months (found guilty by a jury)
  • Mohammed Sohil, 21, of Durbar Road, Luton - seven years (pleaded guilty)
  • Rizwan Khushal, 31, of Shaftesbury Road, Luton - eight years and six months (pleaded guilty)
  • Mohammed Tribak, 24, of Poplar, London - 13 years (pleaded guilty).

In May, Mohammed Hoque, 21, of London, was arrested in a taxi with £17,000 in cash – apparently the result of a drug deal in Cambridgeshire which he had just done on behalf of Khan.

Finally, after the evidence and intelligence had pointed to Khan being involved in all of the above incidents, Bedfordshire Police mounted a series of simultaneous raids in July 2010 to arrest Khan and his other Luton associates who had not already been brought into custody. Khan was living a lavish lifestyle in an exclusive flat and paying cash for luxury goods like Gucci shoes.

A major police operation has now seen 13 people convicted in separate court proceedings in Luton, London, Reading, Birmingham and St Albans.

Bedfordshire Police Detective Inspector Jon Gilbert said: “Khan and Tribak were getting the benefit of the huge amounts of cash generated by dealing the drugs. Khan in particular thought he had taken adequate precautions to evade detection by getting everyone else to do his dirty work for him.

“We never saw him handle drugs, and he seems to have directed all his transactions – even for paying rent on his smart flat – either in cash or via other people’s bank accounts.”

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