County lines drug gang posed with cash on phones

A group of County Lines drug dealers who brazenly posed for pictures with the profits of their crime have been convicted.

The “Jay” line, which supplied cocaine and cannabis across Birmingham and Warwickshire, was originally run by Shakeel Khan and Mohammed Asim.

Later, the pair sold the line to Shamraz and Amrez Alam for £40,000, with the pair taking over running the line.

A complex investigation throughout 2020 and 2021 saw officers examine thousands of phone messages to uncover who was involved, with enquiries finding photos of Mohammed Asim in a car posing with thousands of pounds in cash.

 

 

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These enquiries also led officers to Valentina Dobre, who was Shamraz’s girlfriend – her job was to store and package drugs before it was sold.

Also uncovered were Mudassar Hussain and Waqar Ali, both of whom worked on the drugs line.

A series of warrants were carried out at addresses in Birmingham, resulting in the arrests of the group.

While searching one of the properties, a list was found containing the names of dozens of people and how much money they owed the dealers.

Cash was found at each address, with the total seized amounting to £212,680, including over £80,000 found at the address of Shamraz and Amrez Alam.

In all, the Jay line supplied nearly 400 customers, with people being encouraged to pay directly into Asim’s bank account via transfer.

When he was asked about this in interview, he tried to claim the account was his, but that he had lent it to a friend to use and knew nothing about what was happening in the account.

When Dobre’s address in Edgbaston was searched, no drugs were found, but a car parked outside was examined revealing a converted firearm, a pellet gun, a starter pistol and five live rounds as well as documents relating to Shamraz Alam

In Dobre’s interview, she told officers she knew nothing about any drug dealing, but couldn’t explain to officers why she referred to Shamraz by the name “Escobar”.

Shakeel Khan, 29, of Tile Cross Road, Birmingham pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on 10 April.

The remaining defendants were as follows:

  • Shamraz Alam, aged 31, of School Road, Hall Green – Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A, also found guilty of firearm possession.
  • Amrez Alam, aged 30, also of School Road, Hall Green – Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A, also found guilty of firearm possession.
  • Mohammed Asim, aged 30, of Ferndale Road, Birmingham – Pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property.
  • Valentina Dobre, aged 40, of York Road, Birmingham – Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A.
  • Waqar ALi, aged 31, of Oakfield Road, Birmingham – Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A.
  • Mudassar Hussain, aged 39, also of Oakfield Road, Birmingham – Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A.

They will all be sentenced on 11 and 12 July this year.

Investigations like this form part of Operation Target – our ongoing commitment to tackle serious and organised crime in the West Midlands.

With partners around the Midlands region, we’re keeping up the pressure on those who harm communities through guns, drugs, child exploitation and modern slavery.

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