Two Albanian men have been jailed for a total of 13 years and 10 months after being caught with 8.5 kilos of cocaine and £17,000 in cash.

24 June 2019

Vata MuratiTwo Albanian men have been jailed for a total of 13 years and 10 months after being caught with 8.5 kilos of cocaine and £17,000 in cash.

Shpend Vata, 32, from Golders Green, London, and Gentjan Murati, 34, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, were arrested following a joint investigation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

Vata was jailed for seven years 10 months and Murati six years at Woolwich Crown Court (Friday 21 June).

On 27 November 2018, Vata arrived at Lancaster Road, Hitchin, in a grey Volvo car. He was seen entering a flat carrying a blue rucksack. Within five minutes he came out of the address carrying the same rucksack and was stopped by OCP officers in nearby Bedford Road. Officers found £17k in cash in the rucksack and a kilo of cocaine under the front passenger seat of the Volvo.

Vata told officers: “I do not agree with being arrested for possession to supply, I was just transporting the drugs. I wasn’t supplying anyone.”

A further six kilos of cocaine and a number of mobile phones were recovered after a search of Vata’s home in Finchley Road.

Officers executed a search warrant at Murati’s flat in Lancaster Road, Hitchin. As they entered the property, he was in possession of a kilo block of cocaine.

Vata and Murati were both arrested for possession with intent to supply class A drugs and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Matt McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership, said:

“Vata and Murati were both used by an organised crime group to distribute class A drugs across London. These facilitators are a crucial link in the chain of drug trafficking, and by disrupting their activity, we are having a real impact on the wider activity of organised criminals.

“We know that these gangs rely on cash flow and confiscating the money that is so important to their business stops them from investing in other criminal activity.
“We will continue to do all we can to stop organised crime groups and will use all the tools available to us”.