A Sanderstead-based organised crime gang, two of them extradicted from Belgium, has been jailed for drugs offences.
Bestar Karanxha, aka Joszef Fedak, 30, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs at Snaresbrook Crown Court and was sentenced on Tuesday, 24 September to 16 years’ imprisonment.
He was also jailed for 12 months for possession of a false ID and 12 months for possession of a fraudulently obtained ID. These will run concurrently.
Adriatic Karanxha, aka Otto Kovacs, 23, of no fixed address, was sentenced on the same day to nine years’ imprisonment having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Three other men were also sentenced for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs having pleaded guilty as follows:
– Hassan Mezini, 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for eight years on Wednesday, 15 May.
– Serxhio Omeri, 28, of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment on Wednesday, 15 May.
– Akanto Prapaj, 32 , of no fixed address, was sentenced on Tuesday, 18 June to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
The men were arrested following a proactive investigation led by the Met’s Organised Crime Command.
The court heard how officers made their first arrest in June 2018 following a week-long surveillance operation.
On 21 June 2018, officers stopped Omeri as he left a flat on Theresa’s Walk, Croydon – pictured – and got into a car. He was detained under the Misuse of Drugs Act and was found in possession of a large quantity of cash and a fake ID; he was arrested on suspicion of possession of criminal property.
Officers seized eight kilograms of cocaine at the flat and more than £100,000 in cash alongside a cash-counting machine, fake ID cards, drug wrappings and multiple mobile phones.
Keys found inside the house allowed officers to open a garage underneath the property. Inside was a VW Passat with a further 23 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a rucksack in the boot of the car. The car was also found to have a sophisticated hidden compartment.
Omeri was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs the following day.
Officers also intercepted a drug deal on 26 June 2018. Mezini and Prapaj were seen making contact on a street in Maidstone. A search of the car led to the discovery of £35,000 in cash and a kilogram of cocaine
Mezini and Prapaj were also charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs on 27 June 2018.
Mezini’s photograph was found on one of the fake ID documents found at the address on Theresa’s Walk.
Bestar Karanxha and Adriatic Karanxha – who were also identified during the investigation – fled the country and were traced to Antwerp. Working alongside the Belgian authorities, officers were able to have them extradited to the UK following their arrest on Thursday, 4 April.
Detective Constable Dave Murphy said: “Drug dealing and its associated violence has a hugely negative impact on our communities.
“I hope this outcome highlights our commitment to bearing down on those who seek to peddle drugs, exploit young people and target the most vulnerable within our communities.
“Communities play a vital role in helping us tackle the problem of drug crime. We want to hear from anyone who may have information about this crime in their neighbourhood.”
To report suspected drug crime or alert us to someone you think might be vulnerable, you can call 101. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.