Gang Network of Cannabis Farms Run by 'Albanian Mafia' Are Jailed
Albanian Daily News
Published April 18, 2018
An investigation into a Pound 6 milion network of cannabis farms controlled by the 'Albanian mafia' has led to 26 people being jailed.
Police launched Operation Tisdale in March 2016 to dismantle a large organised crime group who conspired to grow, package, and sell the drug on a huge scale nationwide.
Eighteen of those jailed are from Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
People were employed in the conspiracy as farmers, managers, quartermasters and directors. The operation was controlled by organised criminals from Albania - whose 'mafia' gangs have become significant players in the UK drugs trade in recent years.
Last the M.E.N reported how money garnered from the cannabis conspiracy was funnelled through the bank accounts of Crumpsall-based Besnik Hoxha, 34, whose wife Ifigenia Cipi, 33, enjoyed spending sprees at House of Fraser, nail bars and beauty salons.
On Thursday 21 July 2016 officers from GMP's Serious and Organised Crime Group carried out 12 raids across the Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas in a joint operation with the immigration service, North West Electricity and local authorities.
Officers discovered cannabis farms with a total worth of £6million in Crumpsall, Moss Side, Wythenshawe, Stretford, Salford, Droylsden, Rochdale and Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Other farms were discovered in Rotherham and Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
The produce of these farms had reached a number of areas in Manchester and Sheffield but also in Swindon.
Twenty-six people were arrested, charged and convicted of offences including conspiracy to supply class B drugs, money laundering and false documentation.
Now the final two, Elton Omuri, 26, of Chippenham Road, Manchester and Toni Boboshi, 44, of Pyramid Court, Manchester have been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court for conspiracy to supply class B drugs after pleading not guilty at an earlier hearing.
Omuri was sentenced to four years imprisonment and Boboshi was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Karen Ryan of GMP's Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: "Professing to be part of a sophisticated operation, the group used false names, false addresses and fraudulent documentation to avoid detection by the authorities, frustrate police investigations and attempt to evade criminal prosecution.
"They stretched far beyond the borders of Greater Manchester, pumping the proceeds of their crimes into other cities, spreading the detrimental effects of drug supply across the nation.
"This has been an intense investigation which has relied on the intelligence and the trust of the community and today, we can confidently say these people are safely behind bars, unable to profit from the proceeds of their illicit activity or continue to spread harm through the streets of the United Kingdom."
(Source: Manchester Evening News)