Eighteen jailed after three-year investigation into major east London drugs network

The final 18 men sentenced Pics: Metropolitan Police

After a three-year-long Metropolitan Police investigation, more than 40 men from east London have been convicted of supplying millions of pounds worth of drugs to Hampshire and Brighton, some of it while posing as cab drivers.

In the last of a series of hearings last week, 18 men were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court for being involved in supplying drugs. They have collectively received over 150 years in prison.

Another 24 men were convicted at earlier hearings and jailed for more than 220 years during the course of the crime investigation.

The police obtained a huge quantity of text messages and data after seizing two phones in 2020. It relieved 14 different supply lines based around Hackney and Tower Hamlets that distributed drugs to other locations. The lines have been closed.

The police discovered a network where men all worked together and pretended to be cab drivers, taking calculated shifts as a front in order to supply roughly 37 kilograms of drugs including cocaine, MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), heroin, crack cocaine, ketamine and cannabis.

Working with Hackney and Tower Hamlets officers, specialist officers obtained 49 search warrants, which led to a total of 42 men being arrested and charged with drug supply offences.

Many items were seized, including: £200,000 in cash, drugs with a street value of £83,000 and £54,000 worth of jewellery.

Detective Superintendent Georgina Zumeris of the Metropolitan Police said: “This investigation demonstrates Met officers going above and beyond to make London safe by removing drug dealers from the communities of east London. 

“This is community crime-fighting at its best, removing offenders who impact the lives of those around them.

“The supply of drugs has devastating consequences on communities across London and beyond – it causes addiction, having devastating health impacts, as well as leading to anti-social behaviour and violence.

“Diverting people away from criminality has also been our focus throughout this investigation. Four of the men arrested were found to be suffering from drug addiction and officers recognised this, ensuring they were safeguarded and supported after Rehabilitation Orders were put in place of custodial sentences.

“Through successes like this, we can continue to show how we are keeping our communities safe.”

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