'Welcome to Polo confectionary' - sweet shop drugs gang jailed after flaunting lavish lifestyles

  • Drugs gang posted videos of crime-funded lifestyle - including drinking champagne in a hot tub and going on luxury holidays

Eleven people involved in a sweet shop branded drug line operating from an upmarket town in the Cotswolds have been jailed.

The 'Polo' drugs line was run like a confectionary business - but instead of sweets, the group were selling Class A drugs.

A voicemail service was even set up to pick up missed customer calls, giving the greeting 'welcome to Polos Sweets and Confectionary, thank you for calling'.

Those involved bragged about their lavish lifestyles online - posing with champagne and designer goods including Rolex watches as well as showing off their high-end apartments and luxury holidays.

  • 'Welcome to Polos Sweets and Confectionary' - listen to drugs gang voicemail

The drugs line was run by 32-year-old Uwais Hassanjee and his right-hand men Kazi Ahmed and Jamil Ahmed, both 23.

Hassanjee chose 'Polo' as the name for the drugs line as it was also his nickname. Police say he used it to his advantage, creating a brand which sold to 300 customers he could recognise and trust.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Hassanjee's group would earn as much as £7,000 a day by sourcing bulk quantities of heroin and cocaine and selling it on.

Hassanjee, 33, used his riches to fund luxury holidays in Asia, designer watches and champagne baths.

L-R: Uwais Hassanjee and his right-hand men Kazi Ahmed and Jamil Ahmed, both 23. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

He even paid for his network of dealers to live in and work out of high-end apartments in Cheltenham.

Det Insp Matt Phillips, of Gloucestershire Police said: “Mr Hassanjee led a lifestyle [where] he very much enjoyed the trappings of that; buying Rolex watches, travelling abroad.

“I don’t think he was someone who saved an awful lot for a rainy day - he lived off the money he was making.”

Often, bosses of drug gangs set up their dealers in cheap, shabby accommodation. But Polo spread his wealth, renting at least 11 separate high-end apartments in this upmarket town for his dealers like Bradley McPhee.

In one video he filmed of himself, McPhee boasted: "Man’s living like a king bro, literally, that’s what it feels like I’m not even joking bro.”

He also referred to himself as “the biggest grafter you'll ever see”.

  • Watch drug dealers boasting about lavish lifestyles and showing off case

Det Insp Phillips said: “He [Hassanjee] would book nice flats for them and put them in nice parts of town and even buy them electric scooters to drive around on when they’re delivering their drugs."

Police also found footage where Hassanjee's dealers had recorded videos in a bid to recruit friends into the group.

“It’s a frequent feature that we see in investigations of this type where people claim to be acting under duress," Det Insp Phillips added.

“But when you’ve got this magnitude of videos of people seemingly enjoying themselves, that’s a bit of a non-starter in this case.

“Although he had videos of people seemingly enjoying supplying the drugs, they weren’t profiting by a huge amount."

Cheltenham Drugs Credit: DRUGS_GLOUCSPOLICE_170524

How the drugs gang were caught

Hassanjee was caught by police after one of his customers was caught with Class A drugs by a community officer.

The trail was followed back to dealers working for Polo.

Undercover officers observed as Hassanjee recruited 24-year-old Bradley McPhee, 30-year-old Daniel Brady/Darby and later 21-year-old Ciaran Winser.

L-R: Ciaran Winser, Daniel Brady/Darby and Bradley McPhee Credit: Gloucesershire Police

They were living in Blackburn and Leicester at the time and Hassanjee promised them a lavish lifestyle and free accommodation at high-end rental properties in Cheltenham.

In September 2022, police detained the three men who appeared to be dealing drugs. Searches of the property uncovered a total of 60.27g of crack cocaine worth £4,500 and 153.1g of heroin worth £3,560. Cash was counted and found to total £2,651.76.

In October 2022, a further runner, 21-year-old Hassan Ahmed, was identified to be working for Hassanjee in Cheltenham while under supervision of Kazi Ahmed.

Police intercepted a taxi as it entered Cheltenham and found Kazi Ahmed inside with 19-year-old Emily Barbosa. There was a bag of Class A drugs in the boot.

The bag contained a block of heroin weighing 248g, and 37.7g of cocaine compacted into a solid with some residual powder. An additional 26.3g of cocaine, which had been divided into 39 wraps making a total of 64g, was found in Kazi Ahmed's coat pocket.

In November that year, officers watched an address in Cheltenham's York Street where Hassanjee was supervising his latest drugs runner 24-year-old Leevi Grieve.

After seeing a car arrive, police forced entry and found Hassanjee, Jamil Ahmed and Grieve in possession of a kilogram of drugs along with large quantities of cash.

Police say the group was making around £7,000 a day from dealing Class A drugs - meaning the enterprise was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds for those in charge.

Sameer Khan, 20, was one of Hassanjee's trusted drivers - transporting the group between Leicester and Cheltenham and driving people to deliver drugs. By the time he was arrested, his involvement had stopped with the group.

Khan admitted to driving Hassanjee but was unaware that he was couriering drugs. He said that when he found out, he stopped working for Hassanjee.

Lukas Januf, 28, was also recruited by Hassanjee as a runner. His involvement had also stopped by the time he was arrested.

L-R: Hassan Ahmed, Emily Barbosa Lukas Januf and Leevi Grieve. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

A total of 10 people were sentenced. These included:

  • Uwais Hassanjee - jailed for 10 years and seven months

  • Kazi Ahmed - jailed for eight years and three months

  • Jamil Ahmed - jailed for six years and 10 months

  • Sameer Khan - jailed for six years and 10 months

  • Bradley McPhee - jailed for seven years

  • Daniel Darby - jailed for five years and four months plus nine months concurrent for perverting the course of justice

  • Lukas Januf - jailed for five years and two months and given a £190 surcharge fee. He was also given a concurrent sentence for possession with intent to supply drugs charge that Leicestershire Police led investigated.

  • Leevi Grieve - jailed for four years and six months. He was also given a concurrent sentence for a Class A drugs supply offence and received a 54-month disqualification for dangerous driving that Lancashire Police investigated

  • Ciaran Winser - two years suspended sentence, 250 hours of unpaid work, a £156 surcharge fee and £50 fine

  • Emily Barbosa - two years suspended sentence, 250 hours of unpaid work and a £156 surcharge fee

  • Hassan Ahmed - 20 months suspended for two years, 150 hours of unpaid work and a £156 surcharge fee