In July 2019, the Aylesbury Vale Stronghold team became aware of a county drugs line operating between Birmingham and Aylesbury, selling drugs on an almost daily basis. County drug line is a term used to describe an organised criminal network exporting illegal drugs from one area in the UK to another, often across different counties, using dedicated mobile phone lines to contact drug users and arrange deals.
On 17 July 2019, Basharat Mohammed was arrested in Aylesbury and was found to be in possession of over £1,700 in cash, 52 wraps of crack cocaine and a mobile phone that was found to be managing a drugs line. Whilst Mohammed was in custody, the drugs line was inactive but this changed once he left.
Over the following months, the drugs line, known locally as the ‘Khan line’ continued to operate, with individuals from Birmingham travelling down to Aylesbury almost daily to sell on the streets. However, as this organised criminal group (OCG) grew, they began employing local individuals to sell, including Mohammed Wasim and Gulam Tariq, allowing them to run the line from Birmingham.
Wasim and Tariq would base themselves in addresses of others, exploiting the residents to allow them to stay, a process known as cuckooing.
By February 2020, the OCG had grown further and were using vulnerable drug users to sell drugs on the streets. The ‘Khan line’ had become the largest supplier of crack cocaine and heroin in the area and were contacting over 200 customers on a regular basis.
Between Mohammed’s first arrest and February 2020, officers in Aylesbury had carried out 16 intervention activities and had made numerous arrests and seizures of drugs, cash and paraphernalia, however with so many individuals now involved, the drugs line continued to operate between Birmingham and Aylesbury.
On 11 June 2020, Thames Valley Police officers executed a warrant on an address that was being used by the line to package the drugs before selling them. The occupants were arrested and a significant amount of heroin and packaging equipment were seized. Shortly afterwards, officers from West Midlands Police carried out a number of house searches in Birmingham and arrested Omar Ali from his home.
As part of the investigation, more than 20 people were arrested for class A drug supply offences and 19 of them have been charged.
The following people pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin in Aylesbury between July 2019 and June 2020 and were sentenced together at Aylesbury Crown Court on Tuesday (3/8) to a total of 50 years’ imprisonment.
Basharat Mohammed, 27, of Charles Road, Birmingham played a significant role in establishing and expanding the line. He was sentenced to 6 years 2 months’ imprisonment
Omar Ali, 29, of Burlington Road, Birmingham, played a significant role in sourcing and packaging the drugs. He was sentenced to 5 years 4 months’ imprisonment.
Kamraan Ali, 25, of Burlington Road, Birmingham, played a significant role in the OCG’s activities in Birmingham and Aylesbury. He was sentenced to 5 years 8 months’ imprisonment.
Gulam Tariq, 20, of Penn Road, Aylesbury, initially began working for the line as a street dealer and later grew to manage the day-to-day running of the line in Aylesbury. He was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.
Mohammed Wasim, 19, of Thrasher Road, Aylesbury was sentenced to 3 years 9 months’ imprisonment.
Mohammed Rafiq, 24, of Mansel Road, Birmingham was sentenced to 4 years 8 months’ imprisonment.
Ayaz Khan, 26, of Somerville Road, Birmingham was sentenced to 4 years 6 months’ imprisonment.
Luke Stratfull, 31, of Buckingham Road, Aylesbury was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Mohammed Aftab, 39, of Cottesloe Road, Aylesbury was sentenced to 1 year 3 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Two individuals were also sentenced on Tuesday (3/8) for alternative convictions:
Liaqat Khan, 29, of Farmer Road, Birmingham, was convicted for being concerned in the supply of heroin on the 11 June and was sentenced to 1 year 6 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Dominic Wood, 44, of Atlanta Way, Aylesbury, was convicted for permitting his premises to be used for the supply of drugs. He was sentenced to 1 year 6 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Four other people involved in the OCG all previously pleaded guilty and were convicted and sentenced as follows:
Ubaid Rahman, 21, of Cottesloe Road, Aylesbury was convicted for being in possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply on the 22 August 2019. On 25 September 2019, at Aylesbury Crown Court, he was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment.
Gary Moore and Tina Moore, both 45, of Hamble Drive, Aylesbury, were convicted of being in possession of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply on 20 February 2020 and 12 May 2020. On 1 July 2020, at Aylesbury Crown Court, they were each sentenced to a total of 2 years 4 months’ imprisonment.
Frederick Kirkland, 42, of Somerville Way, Aylesbury, was convicted for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin on 3 May 2020. On 8 July 2021, at Aylesbury Crown Court, he was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Laurie Twine, part of the Aylesbury Vale Stronghold team, said: “For almost a year, Basharat Mohammed and his associates profited from the sales of crack cocaine and heroin while taking advantage of numerous vulnerable people around the Aylesbury area. He employed numerous people to conduct the street deals on his behalf and clearly saw them as completely dispensable as they ended up arrested and sent to prison.
“Just like many of the other defendants in this investigation, such as Kamraan Ali, Gulam Tariq, Mohammed Wasim, Mohammed Rafiq, and Ayaz Khan, he was stopped in Aylesbury before June, and could have chosen to walk away much sooner. However, they continued to offend, and will now have an extended period of time in prison to reflect on that decision.
“Some of the defendants, such as Omar Ali, may have thought that they could safely manage the drugs line while hiding in Birmingham, however, this investigation should show that they cannot help but leave traces of evidence behind, and Thames Valley Police’s Stronghold teams will relentlessly pursue anyone involved in running county drugs lines, wherever they happen to live.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in the neighbourhood team and partner agencies who have been able to safeguard a number of vulnerable individuals identified during this investigation and ensured that they have received the help and support needed.”
“The cash seized and recovered from this drug line has been donated to charity to put this money to a far more honest use and to make a positive difference to the community.”