4 December 2017
Eight men have been jailed for a total of almost 44 years for their roles in an organised crime group involved in the wholesale supply of cocaine across London and South West England.
The group, run by Albanian national Lulezim Zefi, 36, used professional couriers to transport and distribute drugs in vehicles fitted with highly sophisticated concealments.
Top, left to right: Lulelim Zefi, Admir Simeqi, Kamel Safieddine, Gergi Marku. Bottom, left to right: Admir Bici, Ramadan Doci, Valentin Malocaj, Valon Bajgora
Four of his couriers were arrested by officers from the NCA and Metropolitan Police Service’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) on the 27th April 2017 following the handover of 9kg of cocaine at a retail park in Brentford.
OCP officers watched as Admir Simeqi, 41, using his car as a base, delivered 3kgs of cocaine to Gergi Marku, 25 and then 2kgs to Admir Bici, 26, and Ramadan Doci, 26. Both were arrested shortly after.
Officers recovered a further 4kgs of cocaine hidden in a hydraulic concealment in the boot of Simeqi’s car, after he demonstrated that it could be opened and closed by simultaneously pressing various dashboard buttons and using a USB cable.
The drugs had a potential street value of at £720,000.
Shortly after the initial arrests, group leader Zefi met with his lieutenants Valon Bajgora, 34 and Valentin Malocaj, 36, at a restaurant in West Hampsted where all three men were arrested.
The group had been under surveillance by OCP officers for just under 2 months prior to their arrests and were seen to meet frequently at cafes, restaurants, and their home addresses.
Bags of cash
During one of these meets outside Bajgora’s flat in Kilburn, he and Zefi handed over £153,000 in cash to Kamel Safieddine, 46, who was arrested at the scene.
When searching the various properties linked to the OCG, officers seized a further £110,000 in cash and multiple sets of weighing scales and equipment found to contain traces of cocaine and cutting agents.
Also found at Marku’s address was a NCA Cash Seizure Notice issued to the driver of a Macedonian registered lorry as it tried to leave the United Kingdom, via Dover on the 7th of April 2017 with €212,000 concealed in the trailer. The cash seized from the lorry tested positive for Bajgora’s fingerprints and held the same “markings” on the wrappings as those found on the drugs seized on the 27th April 2017.
On Friday 1 December, Zefi was sentenced to 12 years in prison whilst Malocaj and Bajgora received eight years and two years and eight months respectively. Marku and Doci were both sentenced to six years, with Simeqi given six years and nine months.
Bici and Safieddine were sentenced to two years and eight months and one year and nine months respectively.
Organised and determined
Matt McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: “This was a highly organised and determined criminal group involved in the wholesale distribution of cocaine on an industrial scale.
“In an attempt to hide their illicit activity, the group’s couriers fitted their cars with specially constructed hydraulic concealments that could hold up to 15kgs of cocaine at one time.
“As well as making a significant dent in a criminal network, this investigation saw the removal of hundreds of thousands pounds in revenue which can no longer go on to fund further criminality.”