A band of robbers stabbed a drug dealer to death and ransacked his flat but failed to find thousands of pounds in cash stashed inside his headboard, a court has heard.
The Covid mask-wearing team burst into 25-year-old Olsi Kuka’s home and attacked him with two knives and an air gun in an early morning raid, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Kuka was found in his blood-soaked bed with multiple stab wounds as well as four metal ball bearings embedded in his scalp – but no defensive injuries, jurors were told.
The victim’s cousin, Alush Kuka, who was living in the flat in Whetstone, north London, was allegedly threatened, punched and slashed in the attack on May 11 last year but survived to raise the alarm.
Despite the efforts of medics at the scene, the victim was pronounced dead at 3.12am.
A post-mortem examination found he died from stab wounds to the chest and right leg.
On Thursday, prosecutor Edward Brown KC told jurors that police noted obvious signs of a search by the robbers before sealing the flat as a crime scene.
He said: “On a later date, police searched the flat once more and found what the robbers had not found.
“The headboard of the bed in the rear bedroom where Olsi Kuka had been found was examined, cut open and four bundles of mixed banknotes were recovered. It amounted to £8,000 in cash.
“Also inside the left drawer of a coffee table was a bundle of mixed banknotes, again estimated to amount to £1,290.”
The prosecutor told jurors that Mr Kuka was killed for his “ill-gotten gains” following a carefully planned operation.
The robbers had travelled in convoy to and from the scene in two Mercedes cars, having carried out a “reconnaissance” journey a few days before, the court was told.
Mr Brown said: “It also follows from the nature of the attack and its consequences that the group travelled in the cars with at least two knives, very likely more than two, and a gun capable of firing pellets – intending to use them as and when necessary to carry out the robbery.”
According to the survivor’s account of the attack, he was sitting up in bed when he heard a banging as if the door was being kicked in.
After the robbers left, he found his cousin lying in his bedroom covered in blood, jurors were told.
The flat had been “ransacked” and potential “hiding places” searched for drugs and money, it was alleged.
Ozan Seran, 27, of no fixed address; Bulent Bakir, 26, from Enfield; Santana Thompson, 20, of Waltham Forest; Reuben Bernard, 18, of Northamptonshire, and Daige Ramsey, 24, of Waltham Forest, deny murder, wounding with intent and conspiracy to rob.
The trial at the Old Bailey continues.