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Heroin-haul gang jailed for 96 years.

Byline: Liz Keen liz.keen@walesonline.co.uk

ADRUG.DEALING gang involved in the biggest ever seizure of heroin by Welsh police has been jailed for a total of more than 96 years.

Sentences of between seven and 17 years were passed on eight men and one woman for drugs offences at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday. Another woman was sentenced for money laundering offences.

The sentencing followed the complex Operation Frank which was undertaken by South Wales Police and which has resulted in 40kg of heroin being taken off the streets.

Nicola Rees, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Wales, said: "The supply chain linked dealers and suppliers in South Wales and Gwent to the West Midlands, creating a complex network of criminality that was uncovered by an extensive and highly-professional police operation.

"You only have to look at the scale of exhibits seized by police to get a sense of the seriousness of the offences involved. Nearly a quarter of a million pounds in cash was seized alongside 40kg of heroin, with a street value of several million pounds.

"Heroin is a terrible blight on both individuals and communities. Those involved in the supply of this drug do not care about havoc or distress their actions cause, they are interested only in the financial rewards they can gain from their illegal activities."

Gang ringleader Imtiaz Ali, 35, of Ebeneezer Terrace, Newport, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, was jailed for 17 years.

Mohammed Sajjad, of Cefn Road, Mynachdy, Cardiff, also M described as a ringleader, was also jailed for 17 years after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply heroin.

Shazia Ahmed, 38, of Lennard Street, Newport, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin after trial, was jailed for 10 years.

Umar Arif, 29, of Laureate Close, Cardiff, was also given 10 years and four months after being found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin.

Paul Thomas, of Macaulay AvenA ue, Llanrumney, Cardiff, was given nine years' jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin.

Wasim Ali, 29, of Newport, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin after trial, was jailed for eight years.

Zawed Malik, 41, of Greater Manchester, found guilty of conspiring to supply heroin after trial, was jailed for eight years.

Waseem Riaz, 28, of Rosslyn Road, Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, jailed for seven years.

Mohammed Aftab Boota, 27, of Ebeneezer Terrace, Newport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin and was jailed for seven years.

A second woman, Tracy Ford, 39, of Macaulay AvenA ue, Llanrumney, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was given three years and four months.

The conspiracy operated between October 2013 and January 2014.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Phillips, of the Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "Clearly the individuals involved in this case have no regard for the law and were intent on making large sums of money from their drug-dealing activities."

" Detective Inspector Nick Wilkie said: "These defendantsWthought they were untouchable."

After the hearing, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC said: "The police have done an enormous service for society."

CAPTION(S):

<BJailed: Top row, from left: Zawed Malik, Wasim Ali, Waseem Riaz, Umar Arif, Imtiaz Ali. Bottom row, from left: Shazia Ahmed, Paul Thomas, Mohammed Sajjad, Mohammed Aftab Boota and Tracy Ford, who was jailed for money laundering
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 16, 2015
Words:551
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