Three Albanians – two who were in the UK illegally - found with a kilo of 92 per cent pure cocaine in a Primark bag have been jailed.
During interview with NCA investigators, one of the three – Shpati Hakili, aged 30 - denied any knowledge of the cocaine. Unfortunately for him, inside the Primark bag was a receipt for underpants he had bought from the shop a week previously. Officers obtained the CCTV from the store showing Hakili buying the goods.
At Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (31 January 2019), Hakili, from Woodstock Road, Rochester, Kent, alongside his two counterparts - Florenc Kola, aged 28, from Woodland Street, Deptford, SE13 and Nasied Mitro, aged 24, from Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, SE23 - were sentenced for being concerned in the supply class A drugs.
All three had pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing and received seven years, six years and six years respectively.
Officers from the joint National Crime Agency and Met Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP), with assistance from the NCA Armed Operations Unit, stopped the three Albanians who were in a black-coloured Vauxhall Vectra in Cuxton Road, Rochester, Kent, in August 2018.
Following a search, officers found the Primark paper carrier bag that contained the kilo block of cocaine.
Mitro had £1,320 in cash on him and two mobile phones. Kola was carrying £400, while Hakili had £275 in cash and three mobile phones.
Further enquiries by OCP officers uncovered that Kola and Mitro were in the UK illegally. Mitro was also carrying a false Greek driving licence at the time of his arrest.
Mitro and Kola will be deported at the conclusion of their sentence.
Matt McMillan, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said:
“We have successfully disrupted an organised crime network involved in supplying class A drugs. Two of those involved were in the UK illegally and will now be deported after serving their sentence.
“During interview Hakili initially denied any knowledge of the cocaine. However, the receipt found in the shopping bag and the CCTV evidence showed he was lying from the outset.
“We know that every organised crime group relies on cash flow. Disrupting their activity 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”.