Drug gang mem­bers

‘King­pin’ back to il­le­gal ways hours af­ter his re­lease

Rochdale Observer - - SPECIAL REPORT -

trate a drugs plot stretch­ing through Greater Manch­ester from Lan­cashire and Hal­i­fax down to Stoke, a court heard.

The phones were used to or­gan­ise drug de­liv­er­ies, re­ceipts and pay­ments over 10 months from June 2017, Manch­ester’s Min­shull Street Crown Court was told.

Fazal, 32, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, is now back be­hind bars af­ter a ma­jor po­lice op­er­a­tion.

De­tec­tives from GMP’s se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime group seized 13 ki­los of drugs – co­caine and heroin – and more than £110,000 in cash af­ter raids un­der Op­er­a­tion Gam­ber.

Fazal and seven other mem­bers of his group have now been jailed for a col­lec­tive to­tal of more than 65 years.

Based in Rochdale, the gang trans­ported co­caine to and from Hal­i­fax, heroin to Burn­ley and co­caine down to Stoke.

Judge Stu­art Driver QC, the sen­tenc­ing judge, praised GMP for its in­ves­ti­ga­tion and said Fazal ‘di­rected, bought and sold on a com­mer­cial scale’.

Jail­ing him for 15 years, he said: “It is shock­ing that you be­came ac­tive within hours of your re­lease from cus­tody from a drug traf­fick­ing of­fence, ac­ti­vat­ing mo­bile phones that were used in the con­spir­acy.”

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Lee Grif­fin said Fazal ‘con­tin­ued his life of crime’ im­me­di­ately.

“But de­spite his and his co-con­spir­a­tors’ at­tempts to avoid de­tec­tion, our of­fi­cers were soon un­cov­er­ing sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of drugs and cash that led to his gang’s down­fall,” he said.

“This was a wide-rang­ing and com­plex in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but thanks to the dili­gence and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of our spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers we have man­aged to bring down an elab­o­rate drugs con­spir­acy.”

Fazal pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs.

Alex Langhorn, pros­e­cut­ing, said the or­gan­ised crime group he led op­er­ated be­tween June 2017 and May this year.

‘Multi-kilo­gram amounts’ of co­caine and heroin were dis­trib­uted through­out the North West and down to the Mid­lands, he said.

Fazal fled af­ter his home was raided, but he was ar­rested in Stran­raer, south west Scot­land, the court was told.

Hafiz Ul­lah – an ‘or­gan­iser and dis­trib­u­tor’ – was de­scribed as the ‘Lan­cashire con­nec­tion’.

Zain Ahmed, also a ‘dis­trib­u­tor’, was the ‘Hal­i­fax con­nec­tion’ and Raja Mobeen Khan was the ‘Stoke con­nec­tion’, the court heard.

Ul­lah, 34, of Manch­ester Road, Nel­son, Lan­cashire, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to 10 years.

Ahmed, 24, of New­stead Ter­race, Hal­i­fax, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to seven years, three months.

Mobeen Khan, 27, of Trafal­gar Street, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to 10 years.

Tariq Hus­sain, 23, of Hec­tor Av­enue, Rochdale, a ‘dis­trib­u­tor’ who op­er­ated un­der Fazal, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to eight years. A quar­ter kilo of co­caine and £19,000 was seized from his home.

Mo­hammed Abu Khan, 27, of Eclipse Close, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to seven years, six months.

Mo­hammed Hoque, 21, of Stan­ney­brook Close, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and was sen­tenced to seven years.

Nasir Ali, 38, of Rail­way Street, Burn­ley, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs with in­tent to sup­ply and sup­ply­ing drugs. Ali, a taxi driver, was said to have had ‘lit­tle rel­e­vance’ of the scale of the gang’s op­er­a­tion.

De­scribed as a ‘courier’ and ‘naive’, the court heard he moved heroin from Rochdale to Burn­ley. He was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Seven oth­ers con­nected to the op­er­a­tion have al­ready been sen­tenced to more than 30 years be­hind bars.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Grif­fin added: “Drugs blight com­mu­ni­ties and ruin lives. These pros­e­cu­tions send a strong mes­sage that we will not tol­er­ate crim­i­nals at­tempt­ing to profit from il­le­gal­ity.” Hear­ings un­der the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act will be held at a later date.

‘Drugs blight com­mu­ni­ties and ruin lives. These pros­e­cu­tions send a strong mes­sage that we will not tol­er­ate crim­i­nals at­tempt­ing to profit from il­le­gal­ity’

●●Mo­hammed Fazal was the ‘king­pin’

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