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24 September 2014, 12:13
The trial of five men convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs in Oxford concluded yesterday (23/9).
The following men appeared at Oxford Crown Court after being charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs between 9 January and 10 February of this year:
Martin Gray, aged 32, from Randolph Avenue, Woodstock; David Bowen, aged 42, from Mumford Drive, Northampton; and Yemi Aiyegbusi, aged 35, from Walton Street, Oxford, all pleaded guilty on 24 July to one count of conspiracy to supply heroin and one count of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Shorne Ross, aged 41, from Mumford Drive Northampton, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply heroin and one count of conspiracy to supply cocaine on 23 September.
Hakan Razaki, aged 42, from Prunuslaan, Aandijk, Holland pleaded guilty to the one count of conspiracy to supply heroin and one count of conspiracy to supply cocaine on 5 September.
The charges are in connection with the seizure of 21 kg of class A drugs - 14 kilos of cocaine and seven kilos of heroin - with an estimated street value of nearly £24 million. In addition, more than £50,000 in cash was also seized, plus a hydraulic press and various drug paraphernalia.
The items were seized on Monday 10 March from a vehicle on the M40 near High Wycombe; a lorry in Dover, Kent; and during warrants which were carried out at properties in Randolph Avenue, Woodstock and Walton Street, Oxford.
On the same day Bowen and Ross were observed driving a Fiat Doblo van to a service station on the M20 where they met Razaki, who was already at the services in his Dutch-registered lorry. Bowen was seen to walk to the lorry and then return with a holdall, which he placed in the van.
On 10 March at 12.45pm between junction 4 and 5 on the M40, Ross and Bowen were arrested from the Fiat Doblo van. Ross was the driver and Bowen the passenger. In the back of the van was a bag, containing a total of 13 kg of cocaine and 2kg heroin.
At 2.45pm that day Gray was arrested in his car on the forecourt of a Shell garage on Marlow Road, High Wycombe.
On the same day at 6.44pm, Razaki was arrested from his lorry at the docks in Dover, Kent attempting to leave the country. This vehicle had arrived in England on a ferry from Hook Van Holland to Harwich (Essex). In the sleeping area of the lorry there was a hidden compartment, which was empty However, at the request of TVP Dutch police conducted a search of Razaki’s home address and found 42,000 euros in cash.
On 10 March a warrant was also executed at the home address of Yemi Aiyegbusi in Walton Street, Oxford. More than £40,000 in cash was found at various locations throughout the address. Cocaine, heroin and mixing agent was found in a Tupperware box and a Lidl carrier bag on a shoe rack in the entrance to the property. Aiyegbusi was arrested on 11 March 2014 .
On 10 March, 5kg of heroin in a Next carrier bag, a hydraulic press, a money counting machine and drug paraphernalia were discovered at the garage of Martin Gray’s home in Randolph Avenue, Woodstock, while £5,000 in cash was found in the house at the same address.
Det Insp Rachel Turner said: “The Thames Valley Police Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has investigated this group who were concerned with supplying cocaine and heroin in the Oxford area.
“I would like to thank all the police officers involved in bringing this difficult and complex case to this conclusion. These include those in SOCU and uniformed officers.
“We are pleased that we have been able to disrupt the supply of drugs in the Oxford area and bring these men to justice.”
Oxford LPA Commander Supt Christian Bunt said: “This was a lengthy and complex operation by officers from across the Thames Valley and other forces. It also included a collaboration with the Dutch police. All of this has led to the successful conviction of these men and the dismantling of their drug supply network across the Oxford area. All of which should make Oxford and its surroundings a safer place to be.”
The men will be sentenced at a date to be confirmed.