Yesterday, Monday 17 January, four men were sentenced to a total of 49 years following an operation led by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Central Task Force – SCD7(7).
Uckac, Hyuseinov, Sarsilmaz, Taj
[A] Inan Uckac, aged 38 years, a Turkish national of Selkirk House, Bingfiled Street, Islington was sentenced to a total of 15 years having pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on 21 December 2010 to two counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs and two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm.
[B] Fikret Ramizov Hyuseinov, aged 52 years, a Bulgarian lorry driver based in Bulgaria was sentenced to a total of 15 years having pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on 21 December 2010 to two counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs and two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm.
[C] Taskin Sarsilmaz, aged 28 years, of Germany was sentenced to a total of 10 years having pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on 17 September 2010 to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
[D] Akmal Taj, aged 27 years, of Wilmot Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, was sentenced to a total of nine having pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on 18 May 2010 to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
In January 2009 officers launched Operation Anner to investigate the criminal activities of Inan Uckac who was believed to use German based lorry drivers – of Turkish origin – to smuggle drugs and firearms into the United Kingdom.
In the summer of 2009, Uckac was seen to meet with Sarsilmaz – who was subsequently discovered to be employed by a legitimate haulier in Germany – on numerous occasions. On 11 August, officers saw the two men unload 19 large cardboard boxes from Sarsilmaz’s lorry and place them into a waiting white Ford Transit.
As a result of intelligence sharing between the MPS and the German Federal Police (BKA) the investigation uncovered a link between a number of UK residents, German nationals and Dutch nationals. This intelligence suggested that a criminal network, including Sarsilmaz and Hyuseinov, was facilitating the smuggling of drugs and firearms into the UK on behalf of Uckac.
The information provided by the BKA led to MPS officers to a meeting between Uckac and Hyuseinov in Waltham Abbey on 5 February 2010.
On 8 February 2010, officers followed Sarsilmaz to Dudley in the West Midlands where he met with Taj. Taj was subsequently stopped by police and found to be in possession of four kilograms of heroin and arrested.
Almost two weeks later, the BKA informed the MPS that they believed that a large delivery was due to enter the UK. On 21 February 2010, Hyuseinov was stopped at Dover and was arrested after his lorry was found to contain: an assault rifle, a Beretta semi-automatic handgun, 186 kilograms of cannabis and 12 kilograms of amphetamine paste.
Uckac was arrested at his home address on the same day and a search of his place of work, ADA Motors in Islington revealed evidence linking him to the smuggling.
On 23 February, Sarsilmaz was stopped at Dover and arrested for conspiracy to supply drugs.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Beyer, said: "This investigation has successfully disrupted a highly organized and dangerous criminal network smuggling illegal drugs and guns into the UK. “The Met police are committed to targeting any group believed to be involved in these illegal activities."