Seven men jailed after multi-million pound drugs operation shut down in Burnley
Seven men have been jailed for a combined total of more than 27 years and a drug-dealing line was dismantled in Burnley following an investigation into an organised crime group.
The East Targeting Team launched an operation in February 2021 following concerns raised about the supply of crack cocaine and heroin in Burnley, particularly in the Daneshouse and Stoneyholme areas.
The Tiger Line OCG, headed by defendants Hamza Khan and Abdul Ahad, saw children and vulnerable adults targeted and exploited into selling drugs.
On February 25, 2021, officers arrested defendant Shahid Khan after they suspected him of drug-dealing from a flat in Abel Street, Burnley.
When the flat was searched they found crack cocaine, heroin, cash and items associated with cooking and bagging Class A drugs. Ahad’s fingerprints were recovered from the scene.
On April 13, 2021, officers approached a Lexus parked in Coleville Street, Burnley, and defendant Sheikh Juned ran from the vehicle down an alleyway where defendant Mohammed Rawan Ahmed was stood.
Ahmed also ran from police, but Juned was detained with two mobile phones. Snap bags containing heroin and crack cocaine were recovered nearby. One of those phones transpired to be the Tiger Line.
Around an hour later, Ahmed and Hamza Khan were seen in the alleyway looking around where Juned had been arrested.
Both men were searched and two mobile phones were recovered from Ahmed. Juned’s nickname and number was found in his contacts.
On April 19, a man was stopped in Burnley after engaging in a drug exchange with defendant Aaron Hanson. An examination of his phone revealed he had been in contact with the Tiger Line.
Later the same afternoon Hanson and defendant William Stas arrested in Thompson Park, Burnley, with Hanson found with heroin and Stas with £300 and a mobile phone. A large bag of heroin and crack cocaine was found a short distance away.
When officers were leaving the area, they noticed Hamza Khan arriving in a taxi, in similar circumstances as when Ahmed was arrested.
Enquiries discovered that the Tiger Line number had been phoning Stas’s number before and after his arrest.
The following day, defendant Mohammed Shafi was stopped in Ormerod Road, Burnley, after a member of the public had contacted police to report a man was acting suspiciously. He was searched and found to be in possession of more than £2,000 cash and crack cocaine. A large amount of heroin and crack cocaine, cash and two mobile phones were found at Shafi’s house.
Enquiries found that in the four days prior to his arrest, the Tiger Line had been in contact with his phone nearly 300 times. It also transpired that Shafi was communicating about the weights and supply of drugs with defendant Abdul Alam and others.
On June 10, 2021, Ahad and defendant Abdul Basit were stopped in a taxi on Oxford Road, Burnley. Ahad was found in possession of just over £2,000 cash and four mobile phones. Ahad was arrested at that time on suspicion of money laundering. Examination of those phones discovered one was the number of the Tiger Line.
One June 14, 2021, Khan Alam and Basit were arrested during simultaneous raids in Burnley.
During searches £14,700 was found in the wardrobe of a house linked to Khan, while Basit was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker due to his conduct while being detained.
On July 21, 2021, a warrant was executed at a flat in Briercliffe Road, Burnley. Saghir was detained in the rear yard and found to be in possession of wraps of heroin and cocaine, £533 in cash and a mobile phone. During his arrest, that phone was being contacted by the Tiger Line. Heroin and crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia were also found in the flat.
Following further enquiries, officers returned to the flat on August 26 and found Ahad – wanted since the warrants on June 14 – inside. Police also recovered cash, drug paraphernalia and mobile phone linked to the Tiger Line.
Sophisticated drug-dealing network
Sgt Haydn Sibley, from the East Target Team, said: “This was a sophisticated drug-dealing network whose members targeted and exploited children and vulnerable adults into selling their destructive product.
“These convictions came as a result of dedicated and patient policing and I would like to thank all the officers involved. I hope these convictions and subsequent sentences send out a strong message that East Lancashire is not a safe place for OCGs to operate. We will identify and dismantle your operation no matter how sophisticated you think it may be
“If you are aware of illegal activity in your area I would encourage you to call us on 101, confident that we will take the appropriate action.”
The defendants were sentenced to the following:
Abdul Ahad, 03/05/1995, Kent Street, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Jailed for seven years and ten months.
Mohammed Hamza Khan 13/11/1996, of March Street, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Jailed for four years and nine months.
Abdul Alam 06/05/1998 of Kent Street, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Jailed for three years and nine months.
Sheikh Juned 18/06/1996 Higher Reedley Road, Brierfield, convicted of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin. Jailed for three years.
Abdul Basit 15/10/1998 of Clive Street, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and assaulting an emergency worker. Jailed for two years and ten months.
Mohammed Saghir 10/03/1982, of no fixed address, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Jailed for two years and eight months.
Mohammed Rawan Ahmed 06/09/1997 of Arley Gardens, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Jailed for two years and eight months.
Mohammed Shafi 21/11/1986 of Ormerod Road, Burnley, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Twenty-two month suspended sentence.
Aaron Hanson 08/11/2003 of Spenser Street, Padiham, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Twelve-month suspended sentence.
Viliam Stas 24/08/1999 of Clough Road, Nelson, convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Nine-month suspended sentence.
Shahid Khan 16/01/2003 of Colne Road, Burnley, convicted of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin. Two year suspended sentence.
Anyone aware of illegal activity in their area can report it to police online via https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ or call 101.