National Crime Agency
|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Traffickers jailed after rucksack handover, fake IDs and money laundering
Two drug traffickers have been jailed following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Albanians Erbline Hoxhaj, 27 and Besjan Mustafaj, 23, were handed sentences at Birmingham Crown Court last Thursday of 9 years 4 months and 5 years 8 months in prison.
Hoxhaj had been watched by NCA officers in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham getting in to the back of a white Audi A6 empty-handed before leaving with a black Adidas rucksack.
He returned to his white Peugeot Bipper van and drove away. Officers stopped and arrested him at the junction of Cannon Hill and Edgbaston Road.
On seizing his rucksack, officer found 4kg of high-purity cocaine in it with a value to organised crime of £140,000, or £480,000 cut and sold.
A search of the van revealed a custom-made hidden compartment (pictured) which could be unlocked via a concealed button in the centre console, though the compartment was empty.
Hoxhaj was senetenced to 8 years 4 months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and one year for possessing a false ID document with improper intent to run consecutively.
Mustafaj, in the Audi, had travelled from London in order to hand over the drugs. After the handover officers followed him to a petrol station and arrested him.
Mustafaj admitted his name was different to the one on his ID and that he was not Romanian as it said. He confessed later that both documents were forgeries he had bought in Italy.
He was sentenced to 4 years 8 months for the conspiracy charge and a year for possessing a false ID to run consecutively.
Recorder Anne Brown said Hoxhaj had played the "leading role" and that there was a "logical inference" that he was organising "a large quantity of drugs to sell at wholesale level".
She said she believed Mustafaj had played a "lesser role" as a "one-off courier".
The NCA ws granted a forfeiture order on Hoxhaj's Bipper van and £640 in cash found on Mustafaj.
Both men had pleaded guilty to the offences at Birmingham Crown Court in February.
Jim Cook, operations manager at the NCA, said: “The four kg of cocaine we seized would have been sold on, cut and sold on again to fund more criminal activity. We intervened at the beginning of a chain of harm.
“Taking drugs out of the criminal marketplace removes vital revenue from organised crime groups and limits their activity.
“The NCA will continue to use its specialist capabilities to detect and disrupt organised crime groups concerned in the movement of large quantities of drugs.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Jail for man who plotted with Canadian mother to travel to rape her children26/06/2017 13:15:00
A child sex offender who conspired with a mother to travel to Canada to rape her children has been jailed following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
International human trafficking arrests in UK26/06/2017 09:10:00
Three men have been arrested in the UK as part of an National Crime Agency led multi-agency operation targeting an organised crime group (OCG) allegedly involved in trafficking girls from Romania for sexual exploitation and money laundering.
Ten tonnes in under ten months22/06/2017 17:17:00
Cocaine and heroin weighing just over 10 tonnes has been seized from boats in the Mediterranean and Atlantic ocean over the last few months as a result of NCA activity and intelligence sharing.
Lorry driver guilty of delivering £10m of heroin to UK dealers22/06/2017 15:05:00
A Polish lorry driver responsible for smuggling almost 100 kilos of heroin into the UK has been jailed for 18 years, following a multi-agency operation led by the National Crime Agency.
Operation Stovewood: Three men arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse offences22/06/2017 11:15:00
Three men were recently (20 June) arrested in connection with the National Crime Agency's Operation Stovewood, the independent investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997-2013.