Men Jailed for Drug Supplying Business from Mini Market

Two men have been jailed for operating a drug supplying business out of a mini market in Bradford as part of an organised crime group.

Men Jailed for Drug Supplying Business from Mini Market

“He didn’t put in a brand spanking new kitchen."

Two Bradford men have been jailed for their activities as part of an organised crime group responsible for Class A drug trafficking.

Rafiq Khan, aged 30, of Barkerend, was jailed for eight years and eight months while his co-accused Leonard Badwal, aged 23, of Undercliffe, was jailed for two and a half years.

Khan pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of an organised crime group by trafficking Class A drugs between February 7 and March 3, 2021.

He also admitted possession of a kilo of cocaine with intent to supply it at his former address in Eccleshill on September 27, 2021, and possession of cash as criminal property.

Badwal, who is also currently on remand in Leeds Prison, pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of an organised crime group by trafficking Class B drugs at the same time.

Bradford Crown Court heard that both men were arrested on September 27, 2021, when detectives investigating suspected money laundering arrested four people and seized cash and vehicles when they executed a series of warrants in the BD3 area.

Father-of-six Khan had bought and sold drugs from his mini market on Mavis Street.

On Monday, September 27, police raided Khan’s former home.

Camille Morland, prosecuting, said it was “luxuriously furnished”. Officers also searched the Ford Ranger parked outside.

A kilo block of cocaine of 82-89% purity and a bag of cash were seized from the vehicle.

Ms Morland said that both men had previous convictions for being involved in the supply of drugs.

Badwal had a conviction for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, for which he was jailed for five years.

Morland told the court that Badwal was “a peripheral” member of the group involved in low-level cannabis dealing.

Officers monitored CCTV of the area and Khan was caught on camera handing cash to the driver of a white BMW, weighing suspected Class A drugs and retrieving a package from the shop to take to a vehicle.

Badwal was seen dealing cannabis more than 200 times.

The prosecutor said Khan played a leading role in the drug supply operation, directly and organising the commercial sale and purchase of Class A drugs and using the shop as a cover.

His barrister, Alasdair Campbell, pointed to the fact that the charge covered a single month and there was “scant” information that it was any longer than that.

Khan’s address at the time was a rented property and neighbouring homes had similar “lavish” décor because that was the specification to be met by the builder.

Mr Campbell pointed out: “He didn’t put in a brand spanking new kitchen.”

The barrister told the court, Khan, a qualified plasterer, had run a successful construction company employing six people.

Important contracts included rebuilding Manningham Sports Centre in Manningham and working on mosques.

He had been locked up during the Covid-19 pandemic making it difficult to see his family.

Meanwhile, Shufqat Khan, Badwal’s barrister, said he was still a young man and able to make changes in his life.

He had supplied a Class B drug for a month and was, as stated earlier, a peripheral member of the organisation, working as a low-level dealer.

Judge Jonathan Rose said a clear message had to be sent out that those who participated in such criminal activity would receive substantial prison sentences.

He said: “If you choose to involve yourself in an organised crime group the sentence must reflect the need to punish, protect the public and deter others.”

Judge Rose said Khan had a successful construction business and had been motivated entirely by greed to run the drugs organisation alongside it.

As for being remanded in the prison lockdown, his offending was “in full swing” during the Covid-19 pandemic so he knew what to expect.

Judge Rose set a timetable for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing following the drug trafficking operation.

Naina is a journalist interested in Scottish Asian news. She enjoys reading, karate and independent cinema. Her motto is "Live like others don't so you can live like others won't."