Drug dealer who planned to supply Norwich gangs with cocaine jailed
- Credit: National Crime Agency
A drug dealing "middle man" who planned to supply gangs in Norwich with cocaine has been jailed for more than 16 years.
Erion Nakdi, 38, was found to be using encrypted messaging platform, Encrochat, to run the national drug supply network.
He was arrested while on his way to Luton Airport in November 2020 and was found to have £5,000 in his suitcase and a further £5,000 at home.
Using the handle 'Taboocrow,' Nakdi exchanged over 4,000 messages detailing plans to supply multiple areas across the UK, including Norwich, London, Kent, Manchester and Liverpool.
He claimed he would be able to bring over 50 kilos of cocaine a week using contacts he had in South America.
The messages were obtained as part of Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of EncroChat, by the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP), a joint partnership between the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service.
The messages showed his leading role in the criminal network, with multiple runners and drivers who would collect and drop off drugs and cash.
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On one occasion Nakdi said he managed to sell ‘four pieces for £35,000,’ with four pieces being equivalent to four kilos.
In other instances, he would arrange to buy drugs from one organised crime group and sell onto another for profit.
OCP operations manager, Andrew Tickner said: “Nakdi played the role of a broker, acting as a middle man in various drug deals.
"He failed in his attempt to conceal his criminal activity by using an encrypted phone.
“He sought to make profit and supply multiple regions in the UK without considering the violence and exploitation Class A drugs cause.
“I hope his lengthy sentence will serve as a reminder to those involved in the drugs trade that we’re committed to disrupting the supply chain at all levels.”
He was sentenced to 16 years and three months behind bars on Friday, February 18, at Luton Crown Court, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possessing criminal property and money laundering offences.