'Peddlers of misery' Luton drug smugglers jailed

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image captionThe drugs seized during the operation had a value of £5m

Four drug smuggling "peddlers of misery" caught by police after a £5m cocaine seizure have been jailed.

The Luton gang imported cocaine into the UK to distribute to gangs across the country.

The 45kg cocaine haul was seized last year by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.

Two men described as leaders were jailed for 25 years each at Luton Crown Court, while two "trusted couriers" received 18 and 10 years.

Sentencing them, Judge Richard Foster said: "Those who deal in drugs - particularly as here Class A drugs - can expect little mercy form the criminal courts.

"All those involved within the criminal justice system see almost daily the effects of your evil trade... you are nothing short of pedlars of misery."

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image captionClockwise from top left: Mohammed Aakil, Mohammed Irfan, Rumel Hussain, Mohammed Waqas

Leaders Mohammed Irfan Khan, 35, of Dunstable Road, and Mohammed Waqas, 29, of Shervington Grove, were each jailed for 25 years at Luton Crown Court after being convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Couriers Mohammed Aakil, 39, of Old Bedford Road, and Rumel Hussain, 32, of Crawley Road, who admitted the charge, received 18 years and 10 years respectively.

Two other members of the gang - Manzor Bhuiyan, 31, of Guernsey Close and Shaheriz Khan, 37, from Sherwood Road - had already been jailed for 10 years each for their part in the operation.

Det Insp Trevor Davidson said: "This well-established and dangerous organised crime group was operating a wholesale drugs supply network at the very top end, dealing in multi-kilogram batches of import quality cocaine.

"We're really pleased that the group will now be spending such a lengthy amount of time behind bars and we hope this sends a strong message to other organised crime groups operating across the eastern region who think they can operate above the law."

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