16 March 2018
Three members of a London-based Albanian drugs gang have been jailed for a total of 16 years, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
OCP officers apprehended the group’s ringleader, Mark Gurini, 26, at a petrol station near his home in Buckhurst Hill on 26 September 2017.
He was in possession of false Italian identification documents and had two kilos of cocaine hidden in his car.
Officers searching his flat on Queens Road found another 49 kilos of cocaine and further evidence that the gang had been using the property as a base for their drug dealing business.
This included £100,000 in cash, scales, a heat sealing machine and multiple ledgers containing customer details their orders.
Earlier that month two of the gang’s customers, Arbian Celaj, 25, and Abubaker Mohamed, 22, were arrested by OCP officers.
Each was in possession of one kilo of cocaine.
The cocaine seized was worth a combined estimated street value of £4.2 million.
All three men pleaded guilty and today at Blackfriars Crown Court, Gurini was sentenced to eight years in prison, whilst Celaj and Mohamed received five and three years respectively.
Matthew McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: “Drug trafficking is a business which relies on cash flow. If any business loses an expensive commodity in the middle of a transaction, that cash flow stalls on both sides. This creates a lack of trust between crime groups, making it harder for them to do business together in future.
“We believe this large seizure of cash and cocaine has deprived a criminal organisation of substantial operating funds and disrupted their criminal activities in and around London. Using all the means at our disposal, our efforts to disrupt organised crime in London and across the UK will not stop”.