County lines heroin dealer who trafficked children absconds from Derbyshire prison

Zakaria Mohammed became the first drug dealer to be convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of trafficking children in 2018 Credit: Derbyshire Police

A county lines heroin drug dealer - who became the first to be convicted of trafficking children under new modern slavery laws - has absconded from prison.

Zakaria Mohammed was found to be missing from HMP Sudbury on Friday 11 November, Derbyshire Police confirmed.

The 26-year-old is currently serving 14 years after trafficking teenagers to sell heroin and crack cocaine through his network.

He exploited children as young as 14 to deal Class A drugs from dingy flats in Lincoln.

He has been described as 5ft 8in tall, and of slim build.

Zakaria Mohammed exploited children as young as 14 to deal Class A drugs from depraved flats in Lincoln. Credit: West Midlands Police

Mohammed, who is from Aston in Birmingham, ran a narcotics supply chain and admitted trafficking two boys and a girl to deal on his behalf.

The children, aged 14 and 15, had been reported missing in 2018 from Birmingham and Mohammed was busted after two missing boys were found in a flat in Lincoln.

It was the first time a police force in the UK has secured child trafficking convictions under the Modern Slavery Act as part of a county lines operation.

County lines is where gangs recruit children from cities and send them to the country to sell drugs. They are often groomed with the false promise of money but kept in squalid condition.

In 2018, police said Mohammed was "cynical, deliberate and ruthless" in befriending young and vulnerable children to use to further his drug-dealing business.

Children, who had previously been reported as missing, were discovered inside flats in Lincoln when police carried out raids and recovered money, drugs and weapons.

Although it was believed that as many as 10 children were involved, Mohammed was prosecuted for trafficking two boys who were found in a flat and a girl he bought a train ticket to Lincoln for.

Anyone who sees Mohammed has been asked to not approach him and to instead contact Derbyshire Police.