Eight jailed after police smash drugs and guns supply chain
February 16, 2013, 9:13 am
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A TOTAL of eight people have now been jailed after officers from West Midlands Police and Greater Manchester Police smashed a firearms and drugs supply chain and recovered a military-grade machine gun.
Imran Rashid, aged 32, of Denbigh Street, Birmingham and Imran Ali Khan, aged 25, of Charles Road, Birmingham, were convicted of possession of a firearm (a Skorpian machine gun) and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Both men were also convicted of possessing a Baikal self loading pistol and ammunition. Khan and two other men were also convicted of possession with intent to supply heroin, cannabis and cannabis resin as part of a separate investigation by West Midlands Police.
Imran Rashid was today (Friday) sentenced to a total of 15 years and Imran Ali Khan was sentenced to a total of 16 years.
Illyas Idrees, aged 27 of Rydding Lane, West Bromwich was convicted of possession of a firearm (Smith & Wesson revolver) and supplying cannabis. He was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
Hasib Alam, aged 25 of Glovers Road, Small Heath was convicted of possession with intent to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply cannabis resin and possession with intent to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
Qamran Rashid, aged 26 of Denbigh Street, Bordesley Green was convicted of possession with intent to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply cannabis resin and possession with intent to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Sohail Aurengzeb, aged 28, of Wren Street, Oldham, admitted possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Biny Amin, aged 45, of no fixed address, – who has a previous conviction for possessing a firearm – was convicted of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Ajaz Nazir, aged 33, of New Earth Street, Oldham, was found guilty of possessing a firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
All six were jailed at a sentencing hearing in December last year.
The court heard how, in the early hours of Sunday 7 August 2011, Amin and Aurangzeb travelled to a block of flats on Gordon Avenue, Wednesbury in a silver Subaru Legacy.
Nazir also travelled to the same block of flats in a black VW Golf. During the journey, Aurangzeb was in regular contact with the sellers. The vehicles returned to Manchester and officers from Greater Manchester Polices Tactical Firearms Unit and the Xcalibre Organised Crime Unit stopped the Golf on Great Ancoats Street shortly after 3.30am.
Nazir, who was in the front passenger seat, was arrested and a bag containing a Skorpian sub-machine gun and a number of rounds of hollowpoint ammunition was recovered from the front passenger footwell. The gun is capable of discharging 1,000 rounds of ammunition per minute and is believed to change hands for as much as £15,000 in the criminal underworld.
At about 4am the Subaru was stopped and Amin (the driver) and Aurengzeb (front seat passenger) were arrested.
As part of the subsequent investigation involving both forces Imran Rashid, Khan, Idrees, Alam and Qamran Rashid were arrested by specialist officers from West Midlands Polices Gangs and Organised Crime Unit. Two further firearms, a Baikal self loading pistol, with 16 rounds of ammunition, a silencer, and a Smith & Wesson revolver, were recovered.
An image of the Skorpion machine gun recovered from the VW Golf in Manchester was recovered on a phone belonging to Khan. His DNA was also found on the weapon.
During the investigation the unit also recovered a £35,000 Nissan GTR, the ownership of this vehicle was transferred to West Midlands Police and it will now be sold.
Idrees was also found guilty of supplying Imran Khan with cannabis after he handed the drugs to him whilst in the dock of Wolverhampton Crown Court in November 2011.
DCI Shaun Edwards, who lead the investigation for West Midlands Police, said: “West Midlands Police and Greater Manchester Police have worked extremely effectively together to successfully dismantle this criminal network which was supplying firearms.
“We have recovered a number of weapons that would undoubtedly have been used to cause serious or fatal injury on the streets of the West Midlands or Manchester.
“Officers from both forces should be commended for their painstaking work which has led to these significant sentences ensuring that both of our communities are safer.”
David Rouse, from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Services Complex Casework Unit, said: “These individuals were merchants of death and they had little disregard into the pain and suffering that these weapons and drugs can cause to people, families and to the local communities.
“I would like to pay tribute to the great volume of work over a short period of time by both the investigating teams of two police forces and the extensive liaison between both of them which saw a great deal of high quality evidence obtained to prove the telephone and face-to-face links between the Birmingham and Manchester defendants and thus their involvement in serious offending which presented a considerable danger to their respective communities.
“This was a very high quality investigation throughout and that was the reason for the very worthwhile outcome of these proceedings. I am pleased that we have today removed a significant threat to law and order.”