Albanian Drug Gang Jailed after EUR 4m Cocaine Stash Uncovered
Albanian Daily News
Published March 19, 2018
(l to r) Mark Gurini, Arbian Celaj and Abubaker Mohamed, were jailed for a total of 16 yearsThree members of an Albanian drugs gang have been jailed after investigators discovered their stockpile of cocaine worth more than EUR 4 million.
The group's ringleader, Mark Gurini, was arrested at a petrol station near his home in Buckhurst Hill in September last year following an investigation by the National Crime Agency and Met Police.
Officers from the Met's Organised Crime Partnership searched the 26-year-old's car, finding two kilos of cocaine hidden inside, as well as false Italian identification.
A later search of his flat in Queens Road found another 49 kilos of cocaine and further evidence the gang had been using the property as a base for their dealing, including scales and EUR 100,000 in cash.
Officers searching his flat on Queens Road found another 49 kilos of cocaine and further evidence that the gang had been using the property as a base for their drug dealing business.
This included EUR 100,000 in cash, scales, a heat sealing machine and multiple ledgers containing customer details their orders.
Earlier that month two of the gang's customers, Arbian Celaj, 25, of Eastern Avenue, Walthamstow, and Abubaker Mohamed, 22, of Beaumont Road, Leyton, had also been arrested my Met officers.
Each was in possession of one kilo of cocaine. The drugs seized during the operation were estimated to have an overall street value of EUR 4.2 million.
All three men pleaded guilty and on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court, Gurini was sentenced to eight years in prison, whilst Celaj and Mohamed received five and three years respectively.
Matthew McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: "Drug trafficking is a business which relies on cash flow.
"If any business loses an expensive commodity in the middle of a transaction, that cash flow stalls on both sides.
"This creates a lack of trust between crime groups, making it harder for them to do business together in future.
"We believe this large seizure of cash and cocaine has deprived a criminal organisation of substantial operating funds and disrupted their criminal activities in and around London.
"Using all the means at our disposal, our efforts to disrupt organised crime in London and across the UK will not stop."
(Source: The Guardian)