Eight members of OCG convicted following investigation into shooting in Burnley

Eight members of an organised criminal gang (OCG) have been convicted following an investigation that resulted from a shooting in Burnley last year.

By Dominic Collis
Friday, 17th June 2022, 5:27 pm

During the incident, which centred around the attempted taxing of a £220,000 cannabis farm in Salus Street on February 4th, last year, two people suffered gun shot injuries, one man suffered a serious head wound and vehicles were rammed. A car was later set alight in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Police were called at shortly before 12-30am to reports of disorder on Wilton Street where a number of individuals were reportedly attacking a man with weapons.At just after 1.15am police were then called to a report that a 39-year-old man was being treated at hospital for what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the leg.At 4.30am officers were then called to reports a silver BMW estate car had been found burnt out on Melville Street.

Nine people were arrested in connection with the investigation, Operation Callaway.

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Cars damaged following a shooting in Burnley involving an OCG

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, eight of those individuals were charged and stood trial at Preston Crown Court.

Yesterday (June 16), a jury found five of those individuals guilty of their roles in the conspiracy.

Besim Zeka (30/10/1990), of Burder Street, Oldham - conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B.

Elion Gllava (13/10/95), of Hollins Road, Oldham - conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B.

The burnt-out car

Ibrahim Beldie (16/11/89), of Hollins Road, Oldham - conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B.

Andon Bita (6/5/75), of Ellen Wilkinson Crescent, Manchester - conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B and conspiracy to possess criminal property.

Mazar Shah (03/01/82), of Alms Hill Road, Cheetham Hill, Manchester – assisting an offender. He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, which included the arson.

The below individuals pleaded guilty part way through the trial.

Gulam Rauf (12/6/83), of Hartley Avenue, Prestwich - perverting the course of justice, which included the arson.

Murtaza Ahmed (22/11/83), of Berry Street, Brierfield - conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B and conspiracy to possess criminal property.

Andreas Zekaqis (1/5/91), of Acacia Road, Oldham – conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class B and conspiracy to possess criminal property.

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Det. Supt Nick Connaughton, of East Division, said: “The truly appalling violence that took place in the early hours of February 4th, 2021, was completely unacceptable.

"Although an extremely rare occurrence on the streets of Lancashire, it shows the lengths that OCGs are prepared to go in order to protect their commodity. All the individuals either played key roles on the day in the violence or attempted cover-up; or in the Class B supply conspiracy that led to the cannabis farm being present in Salus Street.”

All eight men will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court later this year.