Final members of £40m drug smuggling gang jailed
- Credit: Archant
The final members of a 15-strong gang, which included a man from Wembley, have been jailed for their role in smuggling more than £40million worth of drugs into the UK.
The gang imported heroin and cocaine from mainland Europe which was flooded on to the streets of London and the south east and south coast of England.
Yesterday at Kingston Crown Court Sami Qerkini, 49, from Edgware, Bardhi Lleshi, 36, from Southwark, Arben Oruci, 44, from Lambeth, Armando Oruci, 40, from Tottenham, Jgergji Lleshi, 27, from Islington, identical twins Almir and Altin Gocaj, from Bromley and Lambeth respectively, were jailed for a total of 80 years.
All admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Ardian Doda, of Harrow Road, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in May this year for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
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The 33-year-old, who headed up the UK side of the operation, had previously fled to Holland to try and evade justice.
He was sentenced along with his brother Admir, 38, from Edgware, and cousins Henri Stafhasani, 32, and Aurrell Marqeshi, 34, from Colindale and Hounslow respectively.
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Bledar Hysenlika, 30, Eliasaf Marqeshi, 33, both from Hendon, Florian Koxha, 30, from Richmond, Hyseni Meta , 37, from Golders Green, were also sentenced.
They were given a total of 77 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
The gang was snared as part of Operation Ninjask, which was lead by detectives from the Met’s Central Task Force.
The complex investigation focused on the sophisticated criminal network involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
Headed up by Qerkini, a leading member of an organised Albanian crime gang, they operated from a number of safe houses using a fleet of vehicles.
When officers raided their safe houses last year they seized heroin, cocaine and hundreds and thousands of pounds in cash and Euros.
DI Nick Blackburn, investigating officer, 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.”