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Home Breaking Two children have been safeguarded and the three London-based men, who exploited them to sell drugs in Hertfordshire, have been jailed after a proactive operation by specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police

Two children have been safeguarded and the three London-based men, who exploited them to sell drugs in Hertfordshire, have been jailed after a proactive operation by specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police

Officers from Operation Orochi, the Met’s specialist crime team dedicated to tackling high-harm offenders involved in county lines drugs supply, raided an address in Hatfield on 18 January 2022 and found two missing London boys,, aged 14 and 15.

A short while later, in Streatham in southwest London, detectives detained twin brothers Omar and Malik Aziz nearby to their home address.

A mobile phone and black ‘Hoodrich’ gloves were seized from Malik Aziz. The phone was found to be the number for a Hatfield drugs line. This line had been directing children to supply drugs on their behalf and sending out bulk SMS messages advertising crack cocaine and heroin for sale.

A search was conducted of their home address and officers discovered a bag containing a small unloaded Sig Sauer self-loading pistol. Eight rounds of ammunition were found in a man’s bag. The firearm was later identified as belonging to Malik after footage was found on his mobile phone. He was seen holding the gun whilst wearing the same distinctive gloves he was wearing upon arrest. DNA matching that of the identical twins was also found on the firearm.

CCTV footage recovered from the home address of Malik and Omar Aziz showed the two missing children attending the premises prior to going missing. This is believed to be where they would have been supplied with the drugs for onward sale.

More than £2,000 in cash was seized from the address and Samir Mustafa’s driving licence was also seized, along with a zombie knife. Mustafa was arrested the following day after being identified as physically transporting the children to and from Hatfield in his Mercedes S-Class car, whilst being disqualified.

He was located in the vicinity of Crawford Place in Westminster.

The two children were not prosecuted and instead, referred to Children’s Services by respective local authorities and the Single Competent Authority/National Referral Mechanism. Since 1 April 2023 Orochi, working closely with Rescue and Response, has conducted 20 operations, rescuing 27 children from County Lines and charged 25 individuals with modern slavery offences.

The three men were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday, 2 May after pleading guilty at the same court. They are:

* Malik Aziz, 24 of Eastwood Street, Streatham was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine/heroin and possession of a firearm.

* Omar Aziz, 24 of Eastwood Street, Streatham was sentenced to three years and two months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

* Samir Mustafa 24 of Stone Street, Reading was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine/heroin and driving whilst disqualified.

All three were also issued with ten-year Criminal Behaviour Orders, with conditions which include:

Not making, participating in and/or publishing any material inciting gang-related violence and not to be in the company of any persons ages 16 or under without the express permission of their parents or legal guardian.

Detective Constable Dec James, the investigating officer from Operation Orochi, said: “County lines drug dealers exploit young and vulnerable people to facilitate their drug supply. They hope that by using vulnerable children as drugs runners they will shield themselves from identification and prosecution by law enforcement. This is because frequently, these exploited persons are too scared to assist the police.

“Drill music was also used to glorify their criminal activities. I hope this sentence sends out a message that we will not tolerate the exploitation of children or the supply of drugs. We will pursue those involved, irrespective of whether the victim assists the police.

“The additional recovery of a loaded firearm associated with these perpetrators reflects the intractable association between drug supply and violence.”

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