"This well-established crime group was operating a wholesale drugs supply network."
A gang of six men, all from Luton, were convicted at Luton Crown Court for smuggling millions of pounds worth of cocaine into the UK on Thursday, November 1, 2018.
Two members of the group have already been sentenced to a combined 20 years imprisonment.
Officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) went on a surveillance operation targeting the group’s activities.
Police said that the gang used their contacts from Pakistan and Morocco to sell the drugs to criminals across the UK.
The criminals would then distribute the drugs onwards.
In September and October 2017, the investigation team arrested Mohammed Aakil and Rumel Hussain, two of the gang’s couriers.
In addition, they seized approximately 45 kilograms of import grade cocaine, with a street value of almost £5 million.
Another 15 kilograms of cocaine, worth around £1.5 million, was found in a fast food restaurant belonging to Shaheriz Khan, aged 37, of Sherwood Road.
The investigation revealed that the gang operated a multi-million drugs supply organisation for organised crime.
Detective Inspector Trevor Davidson said: “This well-established dangerous organised crime group was operating a wholesale drugs supply network at the very top end.”
“The criminals involved in this network were dealing in multi-kilogram batches of import quality cocaine.”
Gang leaders Mohammed Waqas, aged 29, of Shervington Grove and Mohammad Irfan Khan, aged 35, of Dunstable Road were found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Aakil was responsible for smuggling the drugs from one location to another.
At a separate trial, another courier Rumel Hussain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Manzor Bhuiyan, aged 31, of Guernsey Close, was jailed for 10 years after being convicted of possession with intent to supply cocaine.
Khan was initially jailed for 16 years in May 2018 for storing the large quantity of the Class A drug.
However, his sentence was reduced at London’s Criminal Appeal Court after lawyers found that there was no evidence he was a leading member of the gang.
Khan’s jail sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison.
At his trial, Lord Justice Leggatt said: “We quash the sentence of 16 years and substitute one of 10 years. To that extent, this appeal is allowed.”
“We quash the sentence of 16 years and substitute one of 10 years. To that extent, this appeal is allowed.”
After the men’s convictions, DI Davison added: “Class A drug importation and distribution is an ERSOU priority.”
“We recognise the devasting impact that drugs have on the community and will continue to tackle sophisticated crime groups such as this one.”