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£1.7m cannabis gang leader to repay tenth of ill-gotten gains

By David Banner | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

The leader of a Wolverhampton-based cannabis gang has been ordered to repay less than a tenth of the £1.7 million which he made from selling drugs.

Fatos Metua, and right, Kosrat Ali

Fatos Metua used his building business as a front for an organised crime organisation that transported two thirds of a ton of skunk cannabis to Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

He recruited employees from his business and others including student and male model Mathin Durran who was moonlighting as a naked butler.

They moved the drugs to Devon, where they supplied three separate distribution networks.

Albanian-born Metua made more than £1.7 million out of the business but a two-year investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act only traced assets worth £148,237.64.

He will be forced to sell a house he owns in Lower Vauxhall, Wolverhampton, and the shares he held in his building company to pay the confiscation order.

Rejected

His wife, who lives in Albania with his children, claimed she owned a half share of his assets, but this was rejected by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge rubber-stamped an agreed order which set the benefit figure at £1,708,165.86 and the available assets at £148,237.64.

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He must repay the money in three months or serve 15 months more in jail.

Another member of the gang, Kosrat Ali, was ordered to repay £13,082.50 within three months or serve and extra six months.

Metua, aged 47, of Paget Road, Wolverhampton, was jailed for five years, four months, at Exeter Crown Court in June last year after admitting three counts of conspiracy to supply cannabis.

He was identified as the leader of the organised crime group by a six-month police surveillance operation codenamed Operation Corinth.

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Mathin Durrani seen leaving Exeter Crown Court during an earlier hearing

The gang were rounded up as Ali and fellow henchman were intercepted as they delivered 13.5 kilos of cannabis to an Indian restaurant in Topsham, near Exeter, where manager Hannan Miah had agreed to store the drugs for a friend.

The leaders of the three distribution networks were based in Wellington, Yeoford and Exeter and sold the cannabis in towns from East Cornwall to Taunton.

Metua’s couriers, who included naked butler Mathin Durrani, made up to four trips a week to Devon with the skunk, which was being grown in the Midlands by a linked Albanian gang.

Durrani, who was studying accountancy at the University of Wolverhampton, was caught red handed during the delivery to the curry house.

He claimed he had been forced to undertake a total of 32 delivery trips through threats to harm his family but a jury at Exeter Crown Court found him guilty of three counts of conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Raids

Police recovered thousands of pounds in cash as well as silver and gold during a series of raids, in which they also seized 37 kilos of skunk, all hidden in Sports Direct bags.

Messages on phones showed the dealers were in regular contact with Metua in Wolverhampton and his couriers.

At the hearing last year, Metua, aged 46, of Paget Road, Wolverhampton; Roland Toska, 37, of Park Road, Wolverhampton; and Kosrat Ali, 25, of Clifford Street, Wolverhampton, all admitted three counts of conspiracy.

Aiden Northern, 29, of East Nynehead, Wellington; Steven Walters, 37, of Fernworthy Park, Crediton; Gulam Choudhury, 44, of Bonhay Road, Exeter, and Neil Mounce, 37, of Avalon Close, Exeter, all admitted a single count of conspiracy.

Miah, 41, of High Street, Topsham, admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs and Walters' father Roy, aged 73, of The Oaks, Yeoford, admitted money laundering.

Durrani, 22, of Westley Court, West Bromwich, was convicted of conspiracy.

Metua was jailed for five years four months, Toska for three years eight months, Durrani for four years, and Ali for four years, three months.

Northern, Steven Walters and Chaudhury were each jailed for two years and eight months.

Mounce was jailed for two years, suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid community work.

Miah was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and Roy Walters was jailed for four months, suspended for a year.

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