Inside the Buckinghamshire apartment at the centre £24 million money laundering drugs gang

Inside the apartment behind the £24 million drugs gang Credit: Regional Organised Crime Unit

1000 kilos of cocaine, 50 kilos of heroin and £24 million...

These are the illegal contents on an industrial scale facilitated and supplied by a criminal drugs over a nine month period.

The 'industrial scale' operation (that's how police described it) was organised and run from an apartment in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

A group of eight men were arrested and sentenced to more than 110 years in prison.

Six of the eight members of the drugs gang Credit: South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

They had been using an encrypted online chat but the system was taken down exposing their exploits.

Sandeep Rao, ran their criminal operation from an apartment in Rutland Street, High Wycombe.

The premises, was identified by police as the ‘safe house, and was used a storage space for multi-kilo quantities of cocaine, ordered on a weekly basis from Dubai, and millions of pounds in cash... money made from the criminal antics which also involved the supply of heroin.

High-end money counting machines would process the vast amount of cash collected by a network of couriers.

£24 million was laundered in total Credit: South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

When arrested, some of the gang attempted to conceal the cocaine in an attempt to evade arrest.

Investigating officer DC Dale Lester, of SEROCU, said: "This organised crime group operated at the highest level – with members involved in the supply of vast quantities of Class A drugs across the United Kingdom. 

"While many members of the group used encrypted devices to arrange their criminal exploits, believing they would not be detected, their plans to profit from others’ misery were halted by police. 

One of the money counting machines Credit: South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

"The impact of their crime’s filters through communities up and down the country as we know the devastating impact and widespread harm of drug use and addiction can have on people.  Put simply, the actions of those who supply drugs, destroys many lives. 

"I’d like to thank my colleagues, CPS and prosecuting counsel for their commitment to this lengthy and complex investigation and I hope that today’s sentences are a reflection of SEROCU’s dedication in tackling and dismantling Organised Crime."

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Hall, Head of Investigations for SEROCU, said: "The scale of the operation which led to these convictions was truly complex and demanding.

Weighing scales measuring drugs Credit: South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

"Our team worked tirelessly to bring these offenders to justice, working closely with colleagues across the criminal justice system including the Crown Prosecution Service. 

“SEROCU will always seek to tackle the highest harm offenders who cause misery in our communities.

"The sentencing reflects the gravity of the offenders’ role in this case, and, let there be no doubt, others who engage in organised criminality will be relentlessly pursued.    

“Finally, I wish to thank all my team, and our partners who built a strong prosecution case, showing dedication and professionalism throughout.

"Our officers often work in the shadows but, once again, this result demonstrates our commitment to tackling and disrupting organised crime.”