Two people have been jailed for more than 24 years after Specialist Crime officers seized drugs with an estimated street value of £25 million.
Luke Orlando Skeete, 25 (25.02.98), of Evergreen Drive, West Drayton, was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, 24 July for his role in a drug operation after millions of pounds of drugs were found in storage units in Acton and Chiswick.
Gabriella Anderson, 27 (03.09.95), of Hercies Road, Uxbridge, was previously sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court on Monday, 20 March for possession with intention to supply drugs.
PC Dave Selwood, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Skeete and Anderson thought that by using hire vehicles and minicabs they could move, with impunity, a significant amount of drugs into London for their own financial gain.
“Drugs as a whole but especially on this scale, are inextricably linked to violence and other crimes that cause misery for the people of London. The meticulous investigative work carried out by my team shows our commitment to taking these controlled substances off London’s streets.
“We hope that this result sends a clear message to those involved in illicit activities that the Met does not welcome this kind of enterprise in London, and our Specialist Crime officers will work determinedly to catch individuals such as this.”
On 21 July 2022, officers stopped a hire car heading into London.
A resulting search of the vehicle led officers to find a large black holdall in the boot of the vehicle that contained 25 kilograms of high purity cocaine.
Anderson and the driver were both arrested and charged with possession with intention to supply on 22 July 2022. The driver was found not guilty at Harrow Crown Court on 1 March 2023.
As a result of the investigation into Anderson, officers were able to identify that Luke Skeete met with Anderson on the day the car was stopped and supplied her with the holdall containing the drugs.
On 20 October 2022 Skeete was seen to use a hire van and was subsequently stopped by officers in the Richmond area. A search of the vehicle found three kilograms of cocaine in the front passenger footwell, with a further five kilograms in the rear of the van.
Skeete was arrested.
Officers from Specialist Crime then searched a storage unit leased by Skeete in Acton and found an organised distribution centre containing 123 kilograms of high purity cocaine.
Further enquiries by the investigation team then identified another self-storage location in the Richmond area. In the storage locker officers found 244 kilograms of ketamine and 11 kilograms of a hybrid drug mixture of cocaine and ketamine.
Skeete was charged on 21 October 2022 with possession with intent to supply drugs.
On 3 March 2023 at Isleworth Crown Court he plead guilty to:
– Possession with intent to supply Class A – 123 kilograms Cocaine
– Possession with intent to supply Class A – 8 kilograms Cocaine
– Possession with intent to supply Class B – 255 kilograms Ketamine
– Supply Cocaine
– Disqualified driving
Skeete also pleaded guilty on Thursday, 25 May at Isleworth Crown Court to multiple fraud offences he committed whilst working for Audi UK in 2020.
He was sentenced on Monday, 24 July to two years and four months’ imprisonment which is to run concurrently with the sentence for the drugs offences.
Detective Sergeant Reda Imane, who led the fraud investigation, said: “Fraud is far from a victimless offence, and the repercussions for the numerous victims involved in this situation extend beyond mere financial loss. The emotional toll has been immense, leading to severe distress and devastation for those affected. Without Audi’s goodwill gesture, these victims would have been deprived of their life savings.
“The outcome demonstrates the unwavering commitment of Met in relentlessly pursuing individuals like Skeete who engage in fraudulent activities. Our determination remains resolute in ensuring that such offenders are held accountable and brought to justice.”
Skeete defrauded a large number of customers, some through their Motability Scheme, to a total of £127,029.
Skeete was also sentenced to 12 weeks in custody for driving whilst disqualified and banned from driving for 12 months and given six penalty points on his licence upon his release.