Patel among 'prolific' UK drug gang jailed for 11 years
An Indian-origin man was part of a gang whose five members have been jailed for a total of 56 years for their role in “prolific” dealing in drugs through the dark web and leading a lavish life when they were students at the University of Manchester.
Jaikishen Patel, 26, was jailed for 11 years and two months, while his accomplices – Basil Assaf, Elliot Hyams, Joshua Morgan and James Roden – were given different terms by the Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday following an international investigation involving British and US officials.
Their drug dealing through a website called Silk Road was described as prolific by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA). It said the website, modelled on eBay and Amazon, was part of the internet known as the dark web and was used to sell a range of illicit goods, though it was most well-known for drug sales.
NCA said the group, led by Assaf, moved its small-time drug dealing operation to Silk Road in May 2011, and soon ran one of its most successful businesses. Junior member Morgan was paid to package drugs for the group.
Under the brand name Ivory, the gang members sent drugs, including LSD, ecstasy, 2CB, ketamine and valium, to buyers around the world. In the course of 6,305 individual sales, the students sent almost 17 kg of liquid ecstasy, equivalent to 240,000 tablets, through the post to buyers.
According to the NCA, the gang also sent more than 1.2 kg of 2CB and more than 1.4 kg of ketamine. They sent LSD in small bottles and in individual doses on paper, stamps and sweets.
They netted at least $1.14 million (about £812,000), though where possible they took cash or crypto currencies, meaning the total value of sales was likely to be considerably greater. The online shop funded a luxury lifestyle for the group, including holidays in the Bahamas and Jamaica, and weekends partying with suppliers in Amsterdam, NCA said in a statement.
The gang was arrested following infighting among the members and the FBI shutting down the Silk Road website in October 2013.
Ian Glover of NCA said: “These five men were interested only in making money. They had no regard whatsoever for the harm these drugs could do to their users. The FBI’s excellent work shut the site down in 2013 in a globally significant operation and information they shared with us enabled us to identify, arrest and successfully build this case.”
According to a <strong>report</strong> in the former miShireen Mazari, Dawn, Pakistan's former minister of human rights in the Imran Khan government which was ousted last monthstody of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE). “Male police officers have beaten and taken my mother away. All I have been told is that Anti Corruption Wing Lahore has taken her,” tweeted Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, Mazari's daughter.
There was no uniform swing in early counting of votes in Australia's election on Saturday, indicating a close result in a tight race that will decide whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative government can defy odds and rule for a fourth three-year term. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese's center-left Labor Party ended the six-week campaign as a favorite to win its first election since 2007.
President Biden on Saturday signed legislation to support Ukraine with another $40 billion in U.S. assistance as the Russian invasion approaches its fourth month. The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and it dwarfs an earlier emergency measure that provided $13.6 billion. Biden signed the measure under unusual circumstances. The logistics reflect a sense of urgency around continuing U.S. support for Ukraine, but also the overlapping international challenges facing Biden.
India's high commission in Ottawa on Friday issued an advisory asking Indian students to take precautions during swimming after two tragic incidents in April this year. The advisory, posted on Twitter, said the high commission was “disturbed to see a recent spurt in cases of death due to drowning of Indian students in Canada”. At least two instances of Indian students accidentally drowning have been reported since April this year.
Canadian health authorities on Friday confirmed three more cases of monkeypox, bringing the total cases in the country to five, and said several other samples are being examined, while reassuring the public that the viral disease doesn't pose a serious threat as yet. Health Canada said Friday evening it had notified Sante Quebec, the province's health department, that three samples had tested positive for monkeypox.