Birmingham cocaine dealers caught in hire car in Swansea after PCSO 'smelled a rat'

Imran Ali, Majidedeen Nedel Arif and Daniel Hassan had travelled from Birmingham to Swansea. Credit: South Wales Police

Three travelling drug dealers from Birmingham were caught red-handed in Swansea last year after a PCSO in the area became suspicious of their activities.

Checks showed the car the trio were in had been hired from Birmingham Airport the previous day and driven to Swansea.

Inside were three men from the west Midlands along with individual deals of crack cocaine wrapped in cigarette papers on which was written the phone number of a drugs gang.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on Saturday, July 10, last year a PSCO on patrol in the West Cross area of Swansea spotted a red Toyota Yaris car which aroused suspicion.

It emerged the car had been hired from the Hertz depot at Birmingham Airport the previous day. The police's organised crime team were alerted and officers rushed to the scene.

As they approached the Yaris and produced their warrant cards the car tried to drive away but became stuck in traffic.

The case was heard at Swansea Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

In the car were driver Imran Ali, aged 29, front-seat passenger Majidedeen Arif, aged 21, and 18-year-old Daniel Hassan in the rear.

The men were searched and Hassan was found to have £400 in cash and six deals of crack cocaine hidden in a pair of shorts he was wearing under his trousers.

The court heard the deals were wrapped in cigarette papers and that written on the papers was Hassan's phone number.

A number of pay-as-you-go burner phones were also seized and when examined they were found to contain messages relating to the supply of drugs.

The prosecutor said subsequent checks showed the Yaris had been driven from Birmingham to Swansea on the afternoon on July 9 before then leaving the city at 10.30pm to make the return journey.

It had driven to Swansea again the follow morning before being stopped in West Cross that afternoon.

Imran Ali, of Westminster Road, Handsworth, Birmingham; Majidedeen Nedel Arif, of Conybere Street, Highgate, Birmingham; and Daniel Hassan, of Grasmere Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, had all previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine when they appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Neither Ali nor Arif have any previous convictions while Hassan has a previous conviction for obstructing a police officer.

The judge told the trio the drugs they had been supplying "ruin lives and wreck communities". Credit: PA Images

Callum Ross, for Ali, said the defendant's role had been limited to that of a driver. He said his client had some "vulnerabilities" and that his long-standing addiction to cannabis had had "a detrimental effect" on his life.

He said character references submitted to the court showed Ali was "kind, caring, generous, approachable, and goes out of his way to help people".

Syed Ahmed, for Arif, said his client had been exploited and intimidated by others who had taken advantage of his naivete and his troubles at home.

Stuart John, for Hassan, said the defendant was somebody who came from a good family who had run up drug debts after becoming addicted to cannabis and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax during the Covid lockdowns. He said the teenager acknowledged he had set a bad example for his younger siblings.

Judge Geraint Walters told the three defendants they had come to Swansea to sell drugs as part of a county lines gang and had been caught red-handed by a patrolling PCSO who had "smelled a rat" when he saw the hire car.

He said: "The courts are altogether too familiar with this sorry story: young men who work for an organised crime group in Birmingham who travel to Swansea intent on peddling drugs on the streets of this city." The judge told the trio the drugs they had been supplying "ruin lives and wreck communities".

With discounts for their guilty pleas Ali was sentenced to 25 months in prison, Arif to three years in prison, and Hassan to three years detention in a young offenders' institution.

The defendants will serve up to half those periods in custody before being released on licence to serve the reminder in the community.