Three men involved in the supply of £2 million worth of heroin and cocaine have been sentenced to a combined total of 67 years in jail.
Detectives from the Met’s Organised Crime Command arrested the men as the result of a six-month investigation, which resulted in the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of Class A drugs.
The case began on 25 January 2017 when officers witnessed an exchange of a bag containing seven kilograms of heroin between Valjet Pepaj, who was identified as the head of the organised criminal group, and Yassir Thamer, a courier.
Police later stopped the vehicle in which the drugs, valued at £687,100, had been placed in and arrested Thamer.
On 15 February 2017, Bastri Nuhi was seen driving a lorry to meet with Pepaj in Northampton. Pepaj was seen to hand a large heavy bag to Nuhi, which contained a large amount of cash, believed to be the proceeds of the drug sales.
On 21 February 2017, Pepaj and Edi Vyzaj, one of the trusted couriers for the drug dealing network, was seen to meet with a Macedonian lorry being driven by Gafur Salih in Hemel Hempstead where they transferred a large holdall to a Hyundai car.
The next day, officers saw Pepaj drive the same Hyundai car to an address in Barnet with Vyzaj in the passenger seat. Pepaj then carried a bag to a nearby VW Golf.
Police stopped this vehicle, which was being driven by Lajdon Vengo, a short time later. The bag was found to contain seven kilograms of high purity cocaine.
On 21 March and 28 March 2017, Nuhi met with Pepaj near Dover in Kent and in Boreham in Essex. On both occasions, Pepaj was seen handing over a bag to Nuhi which contained a large amount of cash, believed to be the proceeds of the drug sales.
On 7 April 2017, Pepaj and Vyzaj were seen to meet with a Macedonian lorry in Hemel Hempstead driven by an associate of Salih and Nuhi. Prior to meeting Pepaj and Vyzaj, the driver met with Nuhi at Folkestone Services in Kent. They were seen to collect two large holdalls.
Police followed the vehicle to Vyzaj’s home address in Church Hill Road and detained both men. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered two large holdalls containing 28 of cocaine.
A search warrant was also carried out at Vyzaj’s home address and inside his room was a large laminator and plastic bags typically used to sell drugs. In a bedroom occupied by Rezart Pepaj, documents were found linking him to a Mercedes car. The Mercedes, which was parked outside, was searched and a further two kilograms of cocaine, which was packaged in a way as if a laminator was used, was found.
At Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday, 11 April, the following defendants were sentenced:
Valjet Pepaj, 28 (30.08.89), an Albanian national, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, was sentenced to 27years imprisonment.
Edi Vyzaj, 30 (10.03.88) an Albanian national of Church Hill Road, Enfield, who pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Gafur Salih, 47 (22.04.70), a Macedonian national, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
Bastri Nuhi, 39 (07.01.79), a Macedonian national, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, was sentenced to 31 months in prison.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Samantha Cailes, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “This was a complex protracted investigation which has achieved significant results.
“Drugs with a street value of in excess of £2m have been removed from the streets of London, preventing further harm and suffering. The sentencing reflects the level of criminality these defendants were involved in and should be seen as a strong deterrent for others involved in the importation and distribution of Class A drugs.”
Rezart Pepaj, 25 (30.04.92), an Albanian national, of Church Hill Road, Enfield, who pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court in November 2017.
Yassir Thamer, 32 (25.10.85), of no fixed abode, an Iraqi national, was sentenced on 23 November 2017 at Blackfriars Crown Court to six years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.
Lajdon Vengo, 29 (21.03.89), of no fixed abode, an Albanian national, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs at Wood Green Crown Court in April and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.