Multi-million pound cocaine conspirator jailed after drug and firearms plot bust by anti-gang detectives.
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A multi-million pound cocaine conspiracy, spearheaded by a firearms supplier from Salford who moved thousands of pounds of dirty money across the world, has been rumbled by our detectives.
Sidaquet Sadiq (18/10/1984), of South Mesnefield Road, was jailed for over 18 years today following an investigation by our Serious and Organised Crime Group (SOCG) on the back of the takedown of the encrypted network EncroChat.
Yesterday afternoon (30 November 2022), Manchester Crown Court heard how Sadiq (known by the user handle 'Mayweather.TMT') was involved in conspiracies to supply class A drugs across the country, supplying firearms and ammunition and the laundering of vast amounts of criminal assets.
The assets were manoeuvred through a sophisticated token system intended to move hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash to Barcelona, Amsterdam, Pakistan, and Dubai.
The court heard that Sadiq used his international web of contacts - from as far afield as South America and Dubai - to purchase multi-kilo bulks of drugs for dissemination across Greater Manchester and the wider United Kingdom; the illicit enterprise would yield as much as £250,000 a day. Sadiq told another encro chat user that he wanted him to launder £250,000 per day and enquired about being able to launder £500,000 per day.
Detectives scoured through tens of thousands of chat messages captured between 28 March - 8 May 2020, following the takedown of EncroChat and the launch of the National Crime Agency's Operation Venetic - the largest nationwide law enforcement operation in UK history.
Messages showed Sadiq ordering other Encro users to buy and sell kilos of cocaine and heroin, and demonstrated his involvement in the purchase and supply of firearms, in London, Birmingham and York.
Sadiq is shown to predominantly deal in 'Grand Power nines' and ammunition - which included as much as 100 rounds being agreed for sale with one EncroChat user handle.
He would also assist other organised crime members in moving money internationally, including £250,000 from Glasgow to Amsterdam for one Encro-user.
Sadiq was sentenced today alongside drug-courier Junaid Ahmed (30/03/1996) who was ordered to serve 6 years, 6 months, for his role in the conspiracy – namely:
Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug.
Selling of prohibited weapons/ammunition.
Ahmed, of Esmond Road, Manchester, was spotted by police on ANPR cameras on the M1 and M62 and, through forensic phone work, he was found to be located close to postcodes given by Sadiq on EncroChat.
CCTV images also show him returning towards his Cheetham Hill address in a black Skoda at the M6 toll booth.
We stung both men in the summer of 2020; first, arresting Sadiq on Thursday 18 June where three mobile devices were recovered amongst other key items before he answered 'no comment' to all questions put to him.
Less than a fortnight later, we recovered the black Skoda - used by Ahmed to travel to London - on a street in Crumpsall which we examined and found a sophisticated ‘hide’ was discovered in the boot of the vehicle - manufactured to look like the rear of the rear seats if looked at from the boot.
Half a kilo of brown powder - later confirmed to be heroin - was also recovered from a bag in the boot of the car.
Almost every day in the following week, we received a total of eight calls from Ahmed asking for his car back - including from a phone number that correlated with the device that had received Sadiq's earlier direction to travel to London.
Our detectives met with Ahmed at a recovery garage on 20 July 2020 and arrested him at the scene before he later gave a 'no comment' interview.
Both men became two of over 210 suspects arrests made as part of our strand of Op Venetic, which has seen across Greater Manchester alone over £2.5million in cash seized as well as nearly a dozen firearms, over 1100 rounds of ammunition, over 12 kilos of class A and 25 kilos of class B drugs, and over £300k of assets including luxury jewellery and vehicles.
Detective Chief Inspector Claire McGuire, of our Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: "Seeing Sidaquet Sadiq put behind bars for such a significant period of time is a fantastic result following weeks and months of meticulous work to ensure he was brought to justice for the sheer scale of his offending.
"Sadiq was an integral player in the organised crime landscape - not just in Greater Manchester but across the country - and he was responsible for the supply of potentially lethal weapons, copious amounts of ruinous class A drugs, and the movement of dirty money on behalf of himself and other unscrupulous individuals.
"The takedown of EncroChat has provided GMP with the opportunity to potentially remove hundreds of organised criminals from our society, and Sadiq is definitely one of those at the high-end of this bracket; he would refrain from a hands-on role as to avoid being caught.
"Instead, he would look to naïve and trusted couriers like Junaid Ahmed who was actively complicit in Sadiq's exploitative trade that remorselessly destroyed lives and damaged communities, and ultimately he is fully deserving of the time in jail he will now begin to serve."