Authorities seize drugs worth over $700m in potatoe deliveries; 3 held | Loop Jamaica – Loop News Jamaica
2 min read
Men with J'can and UK connections under probe
The United Kingdom’s [UK] National Crime Agency [NCA] is reporting that three members of an East London organised crime group have been found guilty of involvement in a drugs operation that saw ganja and cocaine smuggled into the UK from Jamaica in deliveries of sweet potatoes.
The three men are 38-year-old Kashif Mushtaq, Attiq Ur Rehman, and 48-year-old Sarbjit Chumber.
The NCA said it began its investigation in October 2018, when officers from the Metropolitan Police, who were working with the Agency, seized nearly 35 kilos of cannabis from a car in Hackney. The drugs were wrapped in sealed packages within cardboard boxes used for transporting sweet potatoes.
Mushtaq, from Romford, was arrested in connection with the haul and, upon further enquiries and searches of his home and business, was found to have links to Jamaica.
According to a statement from the NCA, this seizure led its investigators to a second shipment three months later in January 2019 when 94 packages containing cocaine and cannabis were found in another load of sweet potatoes on a flight that had arrived at Gatwick airport from Kingston, Jamaica.
The drugs collectively weighed 85.5 kilos and would have been worth more than £3.5 million if sold on the streets of the UK.
NCA teams tracked the second load of drugs to an industrial estate in Hayes, where the boxes were seen being sorted.
Officers arrested Rehman as he took a handover of the boxes in Kingsbury Road, North London. Ur Rehman tried to run away before officers caught up with him.
Chumber, from Hounslow, who was suspected of being involved in the exchange and was in phone contact with the men, was arrested minutes later at Spitalfields Market.
According to the NCA, analysis of messages between the men led back to Mushtaq, who following his arrest in 2018, had been released under investigation.
The NCA suspected Mushtaq also played a leading role in the operation despite being in Pakistan at the time that the drugs were seized. He was subsequently arrested after returning to the UK.
On Thursday, at Southwark Crown Court, Mushtaq, Chumber, and Ur Rehman were found guilty of drug smuggling offences in relation to the January 2019 shipment. A fourth man was cleared.
Mushtaq and two other men were found not guilty of involvement in the October 2018 seizure.
Jon Eatwell lead officer from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said: “This crime group were well organised and established a system that enabled them to smuggle drugs into the UK through legitimate services, where every man had his role in the conspiracy.
“The drugs they trafficked would have been sold across London and could have fuelled further crime and violence”.
US detains smuggling ship, UK seizes drugs in Mideast waters
January 23, 2022 10:01 AM
Man charged with giving Olympic athletes performance drugs
January 12, 2022 03:02 PM
Two men arrested after cops find drugs during vehicle search
September 13, 2021 07:46 AM
What’s Up? King Calie is just getting started
Reggae Girl Khadija Shaw scores as Manchester City beat West Ham
Mother of infant girls, who perished in fire, granted bail
Another member of Mighty Diamonds trio dies
In only a few days, the revered Mighty Diamonds musical trio has been reduced to only one member. Singer Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson passed away on Friday morning in an undisclosed hospital aft
Big fire brought under control at Wisynco in St Catherine
A fire destroyed property, including a number of trucks, at the Wisynco manufacturing and distribution complex at Lakes Pen in St Catherine on Friday evening. In a media interview, Wisynco Chairma,
LET'S TALK: Should parents check children for weapons before school
The level of violence children are meting out to each other in schools has increased significantly since the reopening of partial face-to-face classes at the beginning of January and the full resumpti
Mighty Diamonds lead vocalist, 'Tabby', killed in gun attack
…one other fatality and three injured in incident
American Airlines flights to Ian Fleming Int’l Airport start Nov 5
American Airlines will, in seven months, begin flights to Ian Fleming International Airport (OCJ) from Miami International Airport (MIA) as it expands its presence in the Caribbean and its footprint i
Wisynco manager praises fire brigade for preventing major damage
Head of Operations at Wisynco, Craig Clare, is lauding the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) for responding quickly to the blaze that engulfed the warehouse and manufacturing plant in Lakes Pen, St Catherine
LASCO Food Drink Mix or Shake Recipe: Strong Man Punch
For the moments when you need some extra energy, LASCO Food Drink has your back! This week’s recipe is packing extra power, with the almond flavour being u
LASCO Food Drink Mix or Shake Recipe: Chocolate French Toast
More LASCO Food Drink at breakfast time? Yes please! This week’s breakfast sweet treat features the chocolate flavour to make Chocolate French Toast. Here are t
Healing therapies for long-term pain
As a nation of hard-working citizens, our population is constantly plagued by back pain and other ailments resulting from long hours of sitting, standing, uncomfortable seats, and heavy lifting. These
ODEM cops four golds at the 2021 Angel Awards
The ODEM Group of Companies was awarded four gold awards at the 2021 Angel Awards. They won in the category, ‘Organization or Cause Promotion’ for work done for Get Safe Online. Conducted by the