Two men on Thursday (9) pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to supply illegal drugs after specialist officers of Scotland Yard made one of the largest seizures of cocaine in the UK, worth more than £20 million, involving the duo.
Baldev Singh Sahota, 53, and Shakti Gupta, 34, appeared before Birmingham Crown Court where they admitted to being involved in the supply of the drugs found by Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police officers in a vehicle raid last month.
They discovered 168 kg of cocaine, a Class A illegal drug, within the vehicle and a further 4 kg of Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and 1 kg of cutting agent at an address associated with Sahota and Gupta.
“This operation has resulted in one of the largest land seizures of cocaine within the UK. It is a significant find which demonstrates the scale of this organised drug supply operation which the Met has successfully dismantled,” said Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
“The distribution of this cocaine would have no doubt had a devastating impact on our communities. We will continue to deal robustly with those who seek to supply drugs, exploit young people and target the most vulnerable within our city for the sole purpose of financial gain – often instigating violent acts and placing young people at risk of harm and criminalisation in the process,” he said.
The two accomplices were arrested as a result of an operation targeting a sophisticated drug supply chain in an operation was led by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
Intelligence gathered throughout the course of the operation led detectives to believe significant quantities of drugs were destined for supply on the streets of London, the Met Police said.
On the back of the intelligence, on 11 December 2019 officers stopped a van on the A45 motorway in England.
On inspection of the van, officers discovered a large quantity of Class A drugs had been mixed among pallets of frozen food.
Sahota was arrested at the scene. Officers then proceeded to carry out a search of a venue where further substances were found and Gupta was arrested at that address.
Both men will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on February 7.
Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard noted: “This should send a clear message to anyone involved in this type of organised criminality that we will not only go after those directly supplying drugs to our communities, but we will use all the powers available to us to dismantle the wider networks and cut off the source of supply.
“The audacity of those involved and the lack of consideration for the impact of their criminality is clear. We have continually stated there is an inextricable link between the supply of drugs and the violence we have seen unfolding on the streets of London.”