Jul 15 2010 By Tara Brady, Harrow Observer
MEMBERS of a drugs gang which laundered £10million in cash have been jailed.
Albanian born Xhovan Gripshi, 31, Fabiol Beqiri, 23, and Emiljan Shega, 19, all of Priory Gardens, Wembley, were involved in a plot to channel millions of pounds through a bureau de change to pay for the class A drugs they were dealing.
Eight kilograms of cocaine were hidden under floorboards at the property, as well as equipment to cut drugs, a large drugs press and about £100,000 in cash.
During an investigation, Metropolitan Police detectives discovered that large quantities of the class A drug cocaine were being supplied to three addresses in north west London, including the Wembley home.
The proceeds from the drug sales were then laundered through a bureau de change.
Two other men, Abu Tarab Raja, 27, of Queenswood Avenue, Hounslow, and Jaspreet Singh Gill, 27, of Gordon Crescent, Hayes, set up false companies and registered themselves at the bureau de change. They then provided false details to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and were able to obtain a Certificate of Registration for Money Laundering Regulation.
This created the impression that the companies were being regulated and that they were trading legitimately.
The pair then took nearly £10m in cash to a bureau de change and traded the pounds for euros. The bulk of this laundered money has never been traced.
The cash had been given to Raja and Gill by Elton Dika, 35, an Albanian national, of no fixed abode, as well as the Wembley gang members, and was then used to buy cocaine.
In January last year, Gill was arrested with Kanwaldeep Deol, 40, of Gordon Crescent, Hayes. Officers found a large amount of cocaine in their possession.
Searches of Gill's home uncovered more cash and paperwork relating to the money laundering. Raja was finally arrested on March 30.
The following day, officers searched Priory Gardens, Wembley, where they found the cocaine and drug supply equipment, and £100,000 in cash.
The drugs were hidden underneath floorboards covered by two layers of carpet and with a sofa placed on top.
Gripshi, Beqiri, Shega and Besnik Alla, 31, of Princes Parade, Golders Green, were all arrested at the house.
On Thursday last week (July 8), the gang was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court.
Gripshi was given two years, nine months imprisonment after pleading guilty to allowing his premises to be used for the supply of Class A drugs.
Beqiri was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Shega was jailed for 10 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a controlled class A drug.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Beyer, from the Met's central task force, said: "This group of men went to great lengths to disguise their criminal activity.
"It is only through the efforts of officers from the central task force that these men have been removed from dealing any more drugs on the streets of London and the rest of the UK."