East London drugs gang jailed 81 years after £30m heroin is seized
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:27 05 October 2010
THREE men were jailed yesterday for their roles in a £30 million East London drugs haul. All three and a fourth gang member who has already been sentenced face a total of nearly 82 years behind bars for conspiracy to supply heroin
THREE men were jailed yesterday for their roles in a £30 million East London drugs haul.
All three and a fourth gang member who has already been sentenced face a total of nearly 82 years behind bars for conspiracy to supply heroin.
Harminder Chana, 32, from East Ham, got 17 years, while businessman Abdul Rob, 30, from Ilford, received 23 years, after both were found guilty at Kingston Crown Court.
The third man, Atif Khan, 35, also from Ilford, admitted conspiracy and was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years.
The fourth gang member, Patrick Kuster, 37, was sentenced at an earlier hearing and jailed for 26 years.
Det Ins Marion Ryan said after yesterday’s sentences: “This gang had a flagrant disregard for law, blatantly transporting these dangerous drugs in the boots of their cars.
“This is the biggest heroin seizure by any UK police force. The seizure would be enough to keep 8,000 addicts in the habit for a year.”
Police carried out a long surveillance operation on the organised East London criminal network involved in prolific large-scale heroin trafficking.
Dutchman Kuster imported 356 kilos of uncut heroin from Holland in the boot of his elderly mother’s blue BMW on a train through the Euro Tunnel, all wrapped in half-kilo and one-kilo blocks packed into 13 cardboard boxes.
Once in Folkestone, Kuster headed for his first buyer at a motorway services rendezvous on the M20 where he met Chana.
They shook hands, then Kuster transferred three boxes of heroin worth £5m to Chana’s car. Officers then sprung an ambush and arrested both men.
The remaining 10 boxes in Kuster’s boot contained 300 kilos, worth £25m.
Detectives arrested Khan Later that day in East London, in possession of keys to a safe house’ in Beckton where 20 kilos of drugs, electronic scales, metal press, counterfeit money discriminator, mobile phones, latex gloves and correspondence were found.
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