Met officers intercept a criminal network bringing drugs into the UK

Met officers have disrupted a drug network who imported Class A drugs from France into the UK.

Together with the National Crime Agency (NCA), Met officers built a case against the criminal network showing the drugs had been destined for the streets of south London and beyond.

Three people were convicted on 3 April at Kingston Crown Court for offences including conspiracy to import and supply the Class A drug MDMA. The fourth person already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import drugs to the UK.

The criminal group consisted of:

  • Caprice Thompson, 46 (20.06.77) Hayter Road, Brixton, found guilty of conspiracy to Import Class A drugs
  • Sinan Baki, 49 (16.09.74) Britannia Close, Clapham, who entered a guilty plea to supplying Class A drugs. Found not guilty of conspiracy to Import Class A drugs.
  • Kevin Smith , 37 (18.05.86) Mayfield Road, Portsmouth, who entered a guilty plea to misconduct in public office. Found not guilty of conspiracy to Import Class A drugs.
  • David Johnson, 51 (29.01.73) Reed Place, Clapham, previously pleaded guilty to all charges including conspiracy to Import Class A drugs.

All four will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on 7, June 2024.

Detective Inspector Lydia Stephens of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Command said,

“These individuals were heavily involved in the large-scale supply of Class A drugs in London that severely impacts our communities, drives violence and can lead to vulnerable people and children being criminally exploited across the city.

“Apprehending them successfully is the result of months of hard work and dedication on the part of a team of highly skilled Met detectives, supported by colleagues from the National Crime Agency and Border Force.

“We are committed to bringing organised crime groups to justice and making London safer.”

The court heard officers established that Smith – a UK Border Force officer in Portsmouth who was responsible for searching vehicles and checking passports – was working with the criminal network. They acted quickly with the NCA to pursue this lead, with both agencies working in tandem to piece together the overwhelming evidence against him.

Officers observed the routes taken by members of the group, including Thompson, who was picking up MDMA batches from France and used a data-led approach to obtain phone evidence and show how the group were organising drug deliveries.

Detectives downloaded hundreds of messages across multiple encrypted apps creating a timeline to show the different drop off points in south London, mainly near Brixton and Clapham. The team also worked with ferry companies and car rental units to show the direct routes being used to bring the drugs directly into the area.

Through these investigative techniques, the Met determined the distinctive roles of each member of the network.

Thompson was arrested by officers on 26 August after weeks of careful observation of her movements. She was intercepted in a rental car on the way back to London from the port of Portsmouth where that day, Smith had allowed her to pass through a Border Force booth. When she was arrested, the car was searched and 15kg of MDMA were found in the boot with a street value of £400,000. Met officers arrested Baki and Johnson on the same night where further significant quantities of drugs were found hidden in their addresses and vehicles, including behind the steering wheel of Baki’s car.

Dave Rock from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit said: “Tackling insider threat at the border is a priority for the NCA and our partners because it threatens the security of the public.

“Kevin Smith sought to use his privileged access and knowledge of systems and processes to aid this crime group who were able to bring large amounts of class A into the UK unchecked.”

“This operation demonstrated co-operation in action with the NCA, MPS and Border Force anti-corruption officers working together to prevent these drugs reaching the criminal market.”

As part of the New Met for London plan, the Met is focusing on community crime fighting, making sure people feel safe where they live and work.

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Written by C.L Martin

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