Kingston Crown Court, London, Britain - 20 Aug 2012

Drug smugglers sentenced to 77 years in prison

Kingston Crown Court has sentenced seven members of a drug smuggling ring responsible for the import of heroin and cocaine worth tens of millions pounds into the UK to 77 years in prison.

The seven members of the drug smuggling ring all pleaded guilty to charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and received their sentence in the Crown Court on November 19.

The sentenced received the following convictions:

49-year-old Sami Qerkini, of Brook Avenue, Edgware HA8, was sentenced to 22 years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

36-year-old Bardhi Lleshi, of Thurlow Park Road, Southwark SE21, was sentenced to 16 and a half years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

44-year-old Arben Oruci, of Challice Way, Lambeth SW2, was sentenced to three years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

40-year-old Armando Oruci, of Birkbeck Road, Tottenham N17, was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

27-year-old Jgergji Lleshi, of Bride Street, Islington N7, was sentenced to two years and eight months for conspiracy to supply heroin.

36-year-old Almir Gocaj, of Belvedere Road, Bromley SE19, was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

36-year-old Altin Gocaj , of Highland Road, Lambeth SE19, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy to supply heroin.

The prosecutions are a result of an investigation by detectives from the Met’s Central Task Force, codenamed Operation Ninjask, which focused on the activities of the sophisticated criminal network supplying Class A drugs to the UK.

Operating from a number of safe houses and using a fleet of vehicles, Qerkini and his associates attempted to remain beneath the radar of the investigators by leading what appeared a regular daily life, running cafes.

From September 2013 to May 2014 Operation Ninjask also saw eight men of the same drug smuggling ring sentenced to jail for their part of the conspiracy, which saw £40m worth of Class A drugs smuggled in from mainland Europe before being sold on throughout London and the south east and south coast of England.

Detective Inspector Nick Blackburn of the Met’s Central Task Force said: “This outstanding result reflects the professionalism and dedication of a specialist team of detectives who have achieved significant sentences for those concerned.

“The organised crime group has been fully dismantled from importation level to street-level distributors. This is indicative of the Met’s total war on organised crime and should send out a strong message to those currently engaged in such activity.”

About Elizabeth Stromme

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