Gang behind one of Wales' largest heroin hauls sentenced to almost 100 years

15/12/2015

Members of a major drugs gang responsible for the supply of large amounts of heroin to the streets of South Wales have been jailed for almost 100 years between them, after a seven-week trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

At the conclusion of the trial, four defendants were found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin.  At an earlier hearing, a further six defendants had pleaded guilty a range of offences including conspiring to supply heroin and money laundering. In total, the ten gang members received custodial sentences totalling 96 years and eight months.

During the trial, the court heard that the defendants were part of a wider crime group from the Cardiff and Gwent area with links to the West Midlands. The gang was brought to justice after a complex investigation over a two-year period, which was managed by TARIAN Regional Organised Crime Unit. It total, the police operation resulted in over 38kg of heroin being taken off the streets. In excess of £275,000 in cash was also seized.

Speaking after sentencing Nicola Rees, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wales Complex Casework Unit, said: "These men were involved in an organised and very large-scale heroin supply operation. The supply chain linked dealers and suppliers in South Wales and Gwent to the West Midlands, creating a complex network of criminality that was uncovered by an extensive and highly-professional police operation.

"You only have to look at the scale of exhibits seized by police to get a sense of the seriousness of the offences involved. Nearly a quarter of a million pounds in cash was seized alongside over 38kg of heroin, with a street value of several million pounds.

"Heroin is a terrible blight on both individuals and communities. Those involved in the supply of this drug do not care about havoc or distress their actions cause, they are interested only in the financial rewards they can gain from their illegal activities. We will now be working closely with our police colleagues to ensure that any profits gained by these men through their organised crime operation are recovered via Proceeds of Crime legislation."

The defendants found guilty after trial at Cardiff Crown court are:

  • Umar Arif from Cardiff, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 10 years 4 Months
  • Shazia Ahmed from Newport, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 10 years
  • Waseem Ali from Newport, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 8 years
  • Zawed Malik from Greater Manchester, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 8 years

Also sentenced today, having pleaded guilty before the trial:

  • Imtiaz Ali from Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 17 years
  • Mohammad Sajjad from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 17 years
  • Paul Thomas from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 9 years
  • Aftab Boota from Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 7 years
  • Waseem Riaz from Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, sentenced to 7 years
  • Tracey Ford from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to money laundering, sentenced to 3 years four months