Three men have been jailed for more than sixteen years after police found cocaine with a street value of £1.6 million in the boot of their car.
Nertil Curi, Gentjan Mataj and Brikel Mataj had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
On the 22nd July 2013 officers stopped a silver BMW driven by Gentjan Mataj on the North Circular near the Waterworks roundabout.
Nertil Curi was his passenger and both men were arrested. A painstaking search with a sniffer dog located seven kilos of cocaine with a street value of £1.6 million in a hidden compartment.
The compartment could only be opened by flicking a switch which was concealed in the centre armrest of the rear passenger seat.
The police then searched a property in Linkside Gardens where they arrested Briket Mataj. A search of the building uncovered a hydraulic cocaine press, a money counting machine and cash.
- A search of Brikel Mataj uncovered keys to a Ford Focus. In the cast was a carrier bag containing £15,980 in cash and cannabis with a street value of £9,000
- A search of Nertil Curi uncovered keys to a Mercedes. The car was found parked outside his home address and in the boot was a plastic bag stuffed with £50 notes worth £40,000.
- Searches of Nertil Curi's home uncovered a further £3,000 and €1,435
- A search of another property on Jutland Road and recovered more cocaine was a street value of £200,000
– Detective Inspector Steve Miles, Metropolitan Police Serious and Organised Crime Command
There is no doubt that we uncovered a highly sophisticated crime network involved in the distribution of drugs and money-laundering on a large scale.This investigation prevented £1.6 million-worth of a harmful Class A drug making it onto the streets of London.
Nertil Curi was sentenced to eight years and three months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and 15 months for money laundering.
Gentjan Mataj was sentenced to seven year imprisonment for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and 15 months to run concurrently for money laundering.
Brikel Mataj was sentenced 18 months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and 15 months to run concurrently for money laundering.