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Soho drug dealers jailed as part of major operation

Four men have been jailed for a total of 62 years after dealing heroine and crack cocaine in Soho, central London as part of a major sustained crackdown on drug and associated crime in the area.

Caswell Shaw - jailed for five years and eight months. Credit: Metropolitan Police

A total of 32 defendants have previously been jailed as part of the second stage of Operation Rense by Westminster officers.

Menelaus Yiannaki - jailed for five years and eight months. Credit: Metropolitan Police

The latest convictions represent several months of intensive targeting of Class A and B dealers in Soho and the West End with 43 suspects arrested in May 2013.

Henock Seyoum - jailed for five years and eight months. Credit: Metropolitan Police
David Winton - jailed for five years. Credit: Metropolitan Police


Unlicensed minicab driver jailed for raping passenger

An unlicensed minicab driver has been jailed for more than seven years, for raping a woman after driving her home.

Mohamed Hacene Chaouch aged 46, had been touting for passengers in Soho, when he picked up his victim, who had been on a night out with friends.

He attacked her outside her home address after she fell asleep in the car.

Police say they are working to crack-down on illegal minicabs and are warning people to stay clear of unlicensed operators.

More Soho drugs arrests

Police have now arrested 28 suspected heroin and cocaine dealers who operate in Soho as part of a major sustained crackdown on street crime in the area.

Last week Officers made a series of arrests during raids on dealers' home addresses in dawn swoops.

Now a further three people have been arrested for breaching the terms of their ASBOs and one arrest was made in relation to an assault in Soho.

Raids were an extensive intelligent led operation, say police

Police have made 23 arrests in the latest drugs crackdown

Police have now arrested 23 suspected heroin and cocaine dealers who blight the streets of Soho in the latest phase of a major sustained crackdown on drug and associated street crime in the area.

Officers from Westminster swooped on suspects operating in the very heart of the West End last night, following an extensive intelligence led operation into the supply of class A and B in and around Soho.

The latest wave of arrests come just weeks after the final sentencing of 30 drug dealers who were jailed for a total of 100 years after they were arrested during the first stage of the crackdown in May 2012.

ASBOs have been secured against many of the 30 convicted which prevent them from re-entering the area on their release from prison.

In addition, a further 32 drug dealers and users have had ASBOs secured against them, banning them from large areas of Westminster.


Drug dealers think again, say police

"Drug dealing will not be tolerated", say police Credit: Katie Collins/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Officers arrested 23 suspected drug dealers and three people on suspicion of breaching anti-social behaviour orders in the first stages of the operation.

More arrests are expected in the coming days.

Commander Alison Newcomb from Westminster borough said:

"Drug dealing on the streets of the West End or in any part of London can not and will not be tolerated. Put quite simply, if you are coming to the West End to buy or sell drugs, you need to think again."

"Chaotic" open drugs market

Officers in Soho made a series of arrests last night before raiding dealers' home addresses in dawn swoops this morning.

It is the second operation of its kind aimed at cleaning up the lively area of the West End, which is popular with tourists and partygoers.

Officers have worked for several months to prepare for the crackdown, identifying individual drug dealers.

"My cause celebre is tackling this open drug dealing in the area because it's very closely connected to other serious acquisitives (for example, robbery and theft from the person) and violent street crime. It's a menace to the public in the area."

– Detective Superintendent Kevin Southworth

Mr Southworth said the scene is "quite chaotic", being run as an open market rather than controlled by one gang.Around 80 to 100 officers were taking part in the operation.

It follows a previous operation in which 30 drug criminals were arrested and convicted.

Soho nail bomb plaque stolen

A memorial plaque to the victims of the 1999 London nail bombing has gone missing. The metal tribute had been set in a churchyard close to the Admiral Duncan pub in Old Compton Street, where the explosion took place on 30 April 14 year ago.

It featured the names of the three people who died in the attack, including four months pregnant Andrea Dykes.

Westminster Council and anti-hate crime charity 17-24-30 are sharing the cost to get the memorial replaced in time for the annual gathering of family and friends to mark the anniversary.

"I find it appalling that anyone would steal the memorial plaque remembering those who died and were injured in the horrific Soho bombing of 1999," Councillor Ed Argar said.

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