A gang of 21 behind the importation of over £165 million worth of cocaine into the UK have been jailed for a total of 167 years.

According to Mail Online, the group was a complex network of well-rehearsed individuals shifting illegal drugs on an ‘industrial scale’. Leading members of the gang would travel out to Dubai to meet their cocaine contact who they bragged was on a ‘mill a week.’

But their smooth-running operation fell apart when European Police broke into the Encrochat phone system, an encoded system used by criminals, giving British police evidence to arrest the gang.

An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit found the gang was being led by Paldip Mahngar, 45, out of his small terraced house in Derby.

Mahngar was using an encrypted phone with the Encrochat system to order numerous kilograms of cocaine from contacts in Dubai. While Jaswant Kajla was then responsible for distributing the drugs across the country.

Kajla, 41, of Coventry, organised the logistics of moving the drugs and arranged for the gang’s earnings to be collected. He ensured that the distributors were all rehearsed, acting as couriers to distribute their illicit drugs to buyers.

The gang’s accountant, Manraj Johal, 32, dealt with the collected money, keeping spreadsheets logging the gang’s financial situation.

Johal, of Luton, then used another encrypted phone to relay his activity to his superiors.

Over the 408-day spree, the gang is estimated to have made a staggering £165,208,208 – at one point, they were thought to be raking in as much as £400,000 a day through their ‘offices’ in Derby and Luton.

Gang of 21 who smuggled ?165 million worth of cocaine into the UK from Dubai are jailed for a total of 167 years (Photos)

Mahngar was using an encrypted phone with the Encrochat system to order numerous kilograms of cocaine from contacts in Dubai – Jaswant Kajla was then responsible for distributing the drugs across the country.

Kajla, 41, of Coventry, organised the logistics of moving the drugs and arranged for the gang’s earnings to be collected. He ensured that the distributors were all rehearsed, acting as couriers to distribute their illicit drugs to buyers.

The gang’s accountant, Manraj Johal, 32, dealt with the collected money, keeping spreadsheets logging the gang’s financial situation.

Police were already investigating the gang and their crimes when the Encrochat phone system, an encoded system used by criminals, was reportedly infiltrated by European Police.

From the seized messages, police were able to intercept a 7kg package of cocaine in Derby, April 2020. When gang member Basharat Iqbal had his home searched, police found £20,000 in £1,000 bundles in a locked tin and 3kg of cocaine stuffed in a wardrobe.

In total, the gang was jailed for a total of 167 years, with the leaders receiving the most.

Paldip Mahgar received 18 years and three months, Jaswant Kajla 15 years and three months, Manraj Johal 15 years and eight months and Manvir Singh received 13 years.

Gang of 21 who smuggled ?165 million worth of cocaine into the UK from Dubai are jailed for a total of 167 years (Photos)

DCI Tim Walters, who led the investigation, said: ‘This was a massive undertaking by a very skilled and determined investigation team to dismantle a gang which was responsible for the industrial scale wholesale supply of cocaine across the country, along with the movement of millions of pounds in criminal cash each week.

‘While the gang’s use of a “token” system to monitor their cash flow and the encrypted Encrochat handsets to coordinate their business showed a level of sophistication, they merely acted as a breadcrumb trail for us to see the scale of the ‘business’, and identify each member of the organised crime group, as well as every sale they had made.

‘The hefty sentences given today are not only a testament to an impressive regional investigation, but also to the power of collaborative law enforcement on a national and international scale.

‘And we’ve not finished yet.

‘Through the Proceeds of Crime Act we will now seek to identify and seize any assets amounted from the running of this illicit enterprise, to ensure those responsible are not only stripped of their freedom, but also of any profits made through their criminal activities.’

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