May 19 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Friday, June 1, 2012
Two brothers from Whitechapel have today been jailed for over eight and a half years after pleading guilty to importing and supplying more than a tonne of diluting agents used in the supply of cocaine.
Saleh Ahmed, aged 29, of Herbert House, Old Castle Street, Whitechapel E1, was handed a five years and seven months prison sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
His brother, Siddique Ahmed, 23, of the same address, was sentenced to three years in prison.
The jury heard that the brothers formed a company, Simply Benzo Limited, selling socalled cutting agents, according to police.
The substances, often found in legitimate drugs such as painkillers, can be mixed with illegal Class A drugs to maximise dealers’ profits.
The court heard the brothers sold the anaesthetics benzocaine and procaine and the painkiller phenacetin, along with other chemicals via the Internet, according to police.
Detective Inspector, Jeremy Tizard, head of The London Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: “Pharmaceutical manufacturers were never going to buy 1kg bags of raw powder from an unlicensed dealer operating from a storage facility.
“The sheer scale of the activity is staggering. They imported more than one tonne of cutting agents over a two year period which, mixed at a conservative ratio, assisted in the production of 1800kg of street level cocaine valued at least £90 million.
“Their ability to source and import cutting agents in these quantities contributed hugely to the drug trade in London and beyond.”
In March of last year police found 38kg of cutting agent at the brother’s address.
A further 213kg of cutting agent was found at a rented storage facility, and a 1kg measuring jug and a large quantity of self seal bags were also recovered.
The chemicals, in powder form, were imported from China and supplied to customers across the UK and as far away as the United States, according to police.
At least 900kg of cutting agent, in addition to that seized, had been sold by the Ahmeds before their arrests, according to police.
Whilst cash seized from the brothers was found to be heavily contaminated with cocaine, according to police, no actual controlled drugs were seized.