Luton drug dealer jailed for helping to sell cocaine worth hundreds of thousands of pounds

“He was a dangerous individual who I’m glad is now behind bars for a substantial amount of time”
Naqash Ali. Picture: Bedfordshire PoliceNaqash Ali. Picture: Bedfordshire Police
Naqash Ali. Picture: Bedfordshire Police

A man from Luton has been jailed after he helped sell hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine.

Naqash Ali was inside a vehicle stopped by police in May 2020 as it was linked to people suspected to be involved in drug dealing, and was arrested.

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Three phones were taken – but initially there was no evidence of crimes being committed and he was released without charge.

But after an international operation allowed forces to look at encrypted messages on Encrochat devices, they discovered one of these phones had been used to communicate with illegal drug and firearm suppliers.

Examination of the encrypted device showed “extensive involvement in the purchase and sale of multiple kilos of cocaine”, police said.

In message exchanges, Ali speaks with a user and asks for two kilos of cocaine and whether he can pay £100,000 next week. In another conversation Ali brags about having a deal line selling cocaine.

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Last year he was re-arrested. Ali, 33, of Stirling Drive, Luton, was convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to possess a firearm and on Monday (April 15) he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ali also received two years imprisonment for the conspiracy to possess a firearm without a certificate to be served concurrently.

Gary Hales, from Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Costello, said: “I’m pleased with the sentence handed out, after what was a long and complex investigation into Ali’s extensive drug dealing operation. The length of the sentence reflects the severity of Ali’s actions and the extent to which he was involved in serious and organised crime.

“We know that where there are drugs involved, violence and exploitation quickly ensue. As well as facilitating drugs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, Ali also attempted to purchase firearms which shows his intent to harm. He was a dangerous individual who I’m glad is now behind bars for a substantial amount of time.

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“This case is also reminder to all those involved in organised crime that they are not above the law, and if we don’t get you the first time, we’ll just keep going until we do. When we do get you, not only will we take your liberty we will also seek to strip you of your assets earned from your criminality.”