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Police Arrest 11 in ‘County Lines’ Operation, Weapons, Drugs and Cash Seized

Published on: 28 May, 2021
Updated on: 28 May, 2021

Eleven suspects have been arrested and drugs, cash and weapons seized as part of county lines intensification week activities in Surrey.

The “national intensification week” took place between Monday, May 17 and Sunday, May 23, and included the execution of warrants, joint operations between forces and intercepting vehicles potentially involved in county lines activity.

“County lines” is the label given to the organised and criminal transporting of illegal drugs from major cities into other areas, urban, rural and coastal. Children and vulnerable adults are often used to transport them, often at great risk to their own safety. The “county line” name is said to come from the mobile phone line used by the criminals to take the drug orders.

Police forces throughout South East England and beyond worked together on the operation.

Six people were charged and remanded to appear at Guildford Magistrates Court:

Fahim Karwani, 21, of The Island, Longford, was arrested for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs (crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine).

Yacqub Jama, 23, of Jasper Avenue, Ealing, was arrested for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs (crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine).

Akeem Bellamy, 25, of Church Path, Chiswick, was arrested for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs (crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine).

A 16-year-old boy was arrested for conspiracy to supply class A, PWITS class A and human trafficking. He was charged with PWITS class A (crack cocaine and heroin), and conspiracy to supply class A drugs (crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine).

Jaidon Gregg, 24, of Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath, was arrested for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. He has been charged possession of points and blades, being concerned in supply of class A drugs and possession with intent to supply (PWITS) class B drugs (cannabis).

Brandon Irving, 22, of Melfort Road, Thornton Heath, was arrested for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. He was charged with possession with intent to supply class A (crack cocaine), class A (heroin), possession of a firearm and acquiring/using/possessing criminal property.

In addition among the 11 suspects arrested for drug-related offences are four for supplying of class A drugs:

  • A 36-year-old woman, released on bail;
  • A 39-year-old man, released under investigation;
  • A 16-year-old boy released under investigation;
  • A 17-year-old boy released on bail.

A 50-year-old man was also arrested for driving whilst unfit due to drugs. He has been released under investigation.

During the operation:

  • Five weapons were seized, including four knives and a converted handgun
  • A large quantity of drugs seized, including more than 35 wraps of heroin and more than 200 wraps of crack cocaine.
  • 89 young people and vulnerable adults identified and/or safeguarded
  • More than £3,000 cash seized
  • Eight warrants executed
  • 26 mobile phones seized
  • 45 pairs of high-value trainers seized
  • 80 educational visits made to raise awareness in premises such as schools, hotels and taxi companies

Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, Surrey Police lead on drug-related harm and county lines said, “County lines has a profound impact on the communities it touches. It is often associated with violence and antisocial behaviour in the areas drugs are transported into, and we hope our work this week shows that this will not be tolerated in Surrey.

“Our aim is to make Surrey a hostile environment for those who seek to exploit the young and the vulnerable in order to bring illegal drugs into our county. Our activities this week are just some of what goes on behind the scenes every day to help keep Surrey safe. With your help, we can do even more.

“If you have any information regarding drug dealing or violent crime in your area, or you are worried that someone is being exploited, we need you to tell us. If you’d rather not speak to police, please reach out to independent charities such as Crimestoppers or Fearless instead.”

Detective Inspector Lee Newman, County Lines regional co-ordinator for the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “We’ve provided support to forces with a range of specialist skills and co-ordinated activity to ensure we work together to identify and disrupt serious offenders causing the most harm in our communities.

“County lines drug dealing has a significant impact upon communities and involves the exploitation of some of the most vulnerable people in society, including children.

“We’re committed to further developing our understanding of the methods used by organised criminals responsible for County Lines criminality to ensure we can continue to target them, while working closely with our partners to support victims.”

Spotting the signs of county lines:

  • Have you seen any unfamiliar people hanging around your neighbourhood recently?
  • Is there a house or flat nearby with lots of visitors, day and night?
  • Have you noticed an increase in anti-social behaviour or seen signs of drug-taking or drugs paraphernalia in the area?
  • Have you seen any young people in the company of unknown adults, wearing clothes or jewellery you know they couldn’t afford themselves?
  • Even if someone isn’t involved in county lines drug dealing, they may be being exploited in some other way, so it’s always worth raising your concerns.

You can “direct message” the police or report online via their website: https://www.surrey.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

In an emergency, always call 999. If you would rather not speak to police, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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