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More than £280,000 to be seized from jailed drugs gang

Members of a drugs gang jailed for almost 60 years have lost more than their freedom - after West Midlands Police has swooped to recover over £280,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

The crime group supplied heroin, cocaine and cannabis on an ’industrial scale’ in Birmingham until they were rumbled by the force.

Despite being sentenced in 2016, officers from the financial investigation team continued to pursue enquiries into money made from their illegal activities.

Extensive investigations were carried out - with financial records scrutinised - to set about tracing and seizing ’dirty money.’

At Birmingham Crown Court last Friday (19 July), six members of the drug network were ordered to pay back a combined £280,031 or face extended jail terms under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). 

Stock image  of money

Sandeep Kandola, of Wednesbury was found to have pocketed £188,000 of the criminal cash and must repay this within three months.

The 37-year-old is currently serving an 11 year jail term and enquiries established large sums had been transferred into his mortgage account. 

These were layered to hide the origins of the money and it was established they were used to pay off the mortgage for a property - which was later rented out and generated £55,000.

Mobasser Hussain-Ali, 34, of Lozells, was also found to have £82,000, and the remainder between Shaymus Ulhaq, 35, of Handsworth; Azim Thakur, aged 34, of Edgbaston; Narrinder Kandola, 38, of Edgbaston and Jamie Hadley, 27, of Erdington.

Between them they were sentenced to just over 58 years with four of them still serving time behind bars.

Detective Constable Rob Gough, from the financial investigation unit, said: "Drugs cause untold misery in our communities and we’re determined to ensure those involved in supplying them would not benefit from their ill-gotten gains.

"Despite members of the gang already being jailed we carried out a complex investigation into their finances which spanned almost four years.

"This has now seen a substantial amount of money identified for seizure and proves that crime doesn’t pay. A jail term does not mean the end of our enquiries." 

Money obtained through POCA is put into good causes through the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens Fund, whereby seized cash is used to fund community projects.

The Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “This police operation has proved to be highly successful. 

“West Midlands Police has brought members of an organised drug gang to justice, making our streets safer and helping to disrupt a network of criminals who were causing untold misery in our region. 

“What’s more, the smart financial investigators have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to recover more than a quarter of a million pounds. Much of that money will now be reinvested in community initiatives designed to reduce crime throughout the West Midlands."

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