Smelly car gave away s gang with member who stashed dozens of wraps up his bum

Three young men have been unmasked as part of an organised gang trafficking large amounts of cl A s from Manchester to Aberystwyth.

Officers believe the gang sending the couriers across the border was involved in supplying huge quantities of s to the Ceredigion area. One of the couriers caught heading for university town had dozens of wraps of hidden in his anus a technique known as "plugging".

Swansea Crown Court heard that acting on intelligence police approached a Vauxhall Corsa parked in Aberystwyth on the morning of July 5 2020. Jim Davis prosecuting Dario Martinez said the driver of the car Mustafa Saiid smelled strongly of cannabis and told officers he was waiting for Shuaib Issak who had gone to buy food. A subsequent search of both men revealed Saiid had £400 in one of his socks – money he said was "for the train" – while Issak had a SIM card in his sock. No s were found on the s or in the Corsa and they were allowed on their way.

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The following day the Vauxhall was intercepted by police as it drove to Aberystwyth from the Manchester area. Saiid was again driving and Issak was his penger. Phones and SIM cards were seized and officers recovered messages relating to supply including bulk texts which advertised "banging white all day going fast don't be last".

The court heard the police suspected the visitors had hidden s internally so they were taken to Bronglais Hospital for tests but they refused to undergo CT scans. The s were taken to Aberystwyth police station and that afternoon Issak was seen "acting suspiciously" in his cell – when officers checked they found a package floating in his cup of tea. The court heard Issak told officers "This is what you are looking for" and an examination of the package found it contained 42 individual wraps of .

The pair were released on bail pending further investigation then a week before Christmas of the same year police stopped a Toyota Yaris heading towards Aberystwyth on the A487 near Machynlleth insurance Dario Martinez a vehicle which intelligence had linked to Saiid. Again Saiid was driving and this time his penger was Faisel Ahmed along with a 16-year-old boy. Officers found latex gloves and tubes of lubricant in the car prompting them to request CT scans requests which were refused. A number of phone SIM cards were recovered and were found to contain bulk texts messages sent to 100 contacts some two days before advertising "best of both" – a reference to and – as well as texts about cannabis and texts inviting people to "place your orders".

Mustafa Saiid aged 22 of Bing Avenue Ardwick Manchester had previously pleaded y to being concerned in the supply of cl A s being concerned in the supply of cl B s and an unrelated offence of arson when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. The arson relates to an incident in Gop in Derbyshire in January 2021 when a group of men smashed the window of flat squirted an accele liquid inside and then threw burning paper into the property. Saiid was identified from blood recovered at the scene. The of the arson was later to tell police he had become involved with a gang of dealers from Manchester who were claiming he owed them £500.

Shuaib Issak aged 23 of Stelfox Avenue Fallowfield Manchester had previously pleaded y to possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cl A s and 19-year-old Faisel Ahmed of Ellen Wilkinson Crescent Belle Vue Manchester to being concerned in the supply of cl A s when they appeared for sentence alongside their co-

Neither Saiid nor Issak have any previous convictions but Ahmed has pervious convictions for attempted possession of a bladed article possession of with intent to supply possession of cannabis with intent to supply public order matters simple possessions of cannabis and theft.

What is county lines?

County lines is when s from major cities such as Liverpool Manchester London and Birmingham expand their networks to other areas of the country. This activity brings  exploitation and to rural communities.

The is so-called because a single telephone number is used to order s operated from outside the area across county lines.

County line networks are having a mive impact on rural counties. Vulnerable children and adults are being recruited in our large cities to transport cash and s all over the country. This keeps the true s behind it detached from the act and less likely to be detected or caught.

These gangs often set up a base in a rural area for a short time taking over the home of a vulnerable person (also known as "cuckooing"). They then use adults and children to act as runners.

The increase in activity around county lines is also believed to have contributed to the rise in knife .

Dario Martinez House fire insurance , defendant House fire , defendant

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