Two London gang members convicted of human trafficking


LONDON: In the first case of its kind in the UK, two London gang members running a so called ‘county line’ have been convicted of human trafficking offences, after they used a vulnerable young woman from north London to transport and sell drugs in South Wales.
On Tuesday, 5 December, at Swansea Crown Court, Mahad Yusuf, 20, (18.12.96) of Cuckoo Hall Lane, Edmonton and Fesal Mahamud 19, (25.02.98) of Zambezi Drive, Enfield both pleaded guilty to trafficking a young person [a 19-year-old woman] for the purposes of exploitation under the Modern Slavery Act.
The pair also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. They will be sentenced on 4 January 2018. The investigation – codenamed Operation Lindvi – involved officers from the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command using human trafficking legislation to bring Yusuf and Mahamud to justice.
The proactive investigation, which started on Monday, 20 March, focused on a London to Swansea ‘county line’ operated by members of a north London street gang.
On Thursday, 25 May, officers from Trident, working in conjunction with South Wales Police, identified an address in Swansea suspected of being used by the gang to supply Class A drugs. A search warrant was carried out at the address and a 19- year-old vulnerable woman from London, who had previously been reported missing, was found.
As a result of detailed analysis of social media conversations, Trident officers learned how the gang had lured the teenage woman into a car following a brief social media interaction and then driven her to South Wales. She was met by Yusuf who told her she ‘belonged to him’. The woman’s phone was destroyed and she was held at the address for five days, during which time she was forced to store Class A drugs against her will. Through detailed analysis of Yusuf and Mahamud’s mobile phone records, Met detectives uncovered a large volume of evidence linking them to the supply of Class A drugs. In the joint basis of plea, it was accepted that Mahamud was directing the actions of Yusuf.