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7 December 2017, 09:22
Two gang members who ran a so-called "county line" drug network have been convicted of human trafficking, in the first case of its kind.
Mahad Yusuf, 20, and Fesal Mahamud, 19, pleaded guilty to trafficking a 19-year-old woman, who was forced to transport drugs from London to Swansea.
It is believed to be the first time police have successfully used powers under the Modern Slavery Act to target members of city gangs, who use a phone line to facilitate their supply of class A drugs into county or coastal towns.
Yusuf and Mahamud also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs at Swansea Crown Court.
Police said their vulnerable victim, from London, was contacted on social media before being lured into a car and driven to Swansea.
She was met by Yusuf, who told her "she belonged to him", and her mobile phone was destroyed.
The woman, who was reported missing, was held for five days at an address where she was forced to store Class A drugs before police raided the property on May 25.
Mahamud was said to be directing the actions of Yusuf and the pair will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on January 4 next year.
Detective Inspector Rick Sewart, of Scotland Yard's gang crime unit Trident, said: "The victim in this case suffered a horrendous ordeal at the hands of these two men, who trafficked her for their own criminal gain.
"Unfortunately this case is by no means unique. Drug dealers are exploiting vulnerable people across the country via county lines.
"This prosecution is a clear message to any drug dealer that if you exploit young people we will find you, bring you to justice and you will feel the full force of the law."