London, April 30 : An Indian-origin crime boss, who conspired to buy and supply Class A drugs and guns on an encrypted communications platform, has been jailed for more than eight years, UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
Officers found that Raj Singh, 45, of Surrey in south east England worked with Waqas Iqbal, 41, to buy and sell Class A drugs and firearms. They also planned to launder money and send ketamine to Canada.
Singh admitted before the Guildford Crown Court conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), conspiracy to supply class B (ketamine) and money laundering. He also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm upon police on a separate matter.
The court sentenced Singh, also known as Rajinder Singh Bassi, to eight years and 10 months in prison, and Iqbal to 12 years
The sentence also included 16 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm upon a female police officer. Singh was involved in a pub fight in which he kicked the police officer’s leg as she tried to restrain him.
The men had not only been involved in many multiple kilo deals to buy and supply Class A drugs, the decrypted messages revealed that in April 2020 Iqbal was in the process of repaying £ 385,000 for drugs he had taken on credit, according to NCA investigations.
Between March and May 2020, the duo plotted multi-kilo consignments of cocaine and heroin. Singh also plotted to send ketamine to Canada.
The two were not known by their real names on EncroChat but by ‘handles’. Singh was called Salmonagent and Iqbal was Ghostshooter.
At the end of March 2020 Iqbal supplied a contact with ammunition for a 7.65 Browning at a meeting on Acacia Road, in London E17. A week later Singh and Iqbal discussed a firearm that Iqbal had hidden in a wall.
Over the next few days between April 8 and 10, the men discussed buying another firearm from a contact on EncroChat for 8,000 pounds.
Decrypted messages between April and May 2020 also showed the organised crime group in conversations about laundering 151,500 Euros from the UK to the Netherlands.
“Though Iqbal and Singh operated within the London area they had criminal connections in multiple countries within mainland Europe and further afield. “Like other high end dealers, Iqbal and Singh are toxic and responsible for causing very serious levels of harm to society,” Dean Wallbank, NCA operations manager, said.
“They didn’t care what bloodshed the guns and drugs led to, just as long as they made money,” Wallbank said.