Police have welcomed the jailing of a drugs gang behind an “awful explosion” of Class A drugs in Whitechapel as an “incredible result” which will “severely disrupt the supply”.
Following an undercover operation in which detectives posed as drugs users, 16 men have been sentenced to a total of 49 years for charges including the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
At Snaresbrook Crown Court, the judge handed jail sentences of between two years and 56 months, though prisoners in Britain typically serve just half of their term, when the system paroles criminals automatically.
The East London Advertiser reports gang members took advantage of BT phone boxes with free-of-charge calls for the first few minutes to arrange drug deals, and that the operation the gang ‘would have made £1.28 million’ on one ‘line’ of drugs trading alone, according to prosecutor Baba Tunde Alabi.
London Police Find Violent Gangs, Acid Attacks, and Moped Crime ‘Linked’
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2017
Sentencing two of the defendants, Judge Nigel Peters QC said: “People look out of their windows and see drug dealers going about their criminal, evil work oblivious to the residents and workers of the area.
“These are two of a large police operation to try and stem the awful explosion in supply on the streets of Whitechapel of class A drugs.”
A total of 49 people have been arrested as part of Operation Continuum, an ongoing enterprise between police and Tower Hamlets Council in which more than £60,000 cash and over a pound of Class A drugs were found in raids of dozens of addresses.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Hamer, responsible for major investigations in the borough, said: “I am very pleased with the results of this first wave of sentencing.
NCA: Violent Albanian Gangs Have Control of UK Drug Trafficking Market https://t.co/xu0H90vWGE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 30, 2017
“Removing these men from our streets is an incredible result for the community. Putting them in jail will severely disrupt the supply of drugs.”
Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs said: “Our message to drug dealers is clear – we will push for the strongest penalties.”
Figures emerged at the weekend which revealed that around one in three arrests which take place in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London is a foreign national, with statistic one in five across the wider UK.
Senior police figures have warned that lax border controls have contributed to the rise of Albanian crime gangs in Britain, with organised criminals from the country having gained “considerable control” over the drugs trafficking market, according to a National Crime Agency (NCA) report.