Real extent of Nottingham’s illegal drug trade revealed


An expert and former police sergeant has unveiled the very lucrative and dangerous drug industry in Nottingham.

It comes after violent and armed drug trafficking gangs were convicted in October for their crimes, after posting their wealth in youtube videos.

The gang leader, Akeem Chand, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the operation, where he allegedly controlled his troops within the empire he built.

Police released video footage showing Chand firing a gun at a car multiple times, hitting a rival in the neck – the terrifying moment was captured on a nearby driver’s dashcam.

Details also emerged in October of two cocaine gangs, one from Lincolnshire and one from Coventry, who used the sleepy Nottinghamshire village of Stanton-on-the-Wolds in Rushcliffe to buy drugs.

Both gangs were jailed for a total of over 100 years for their exploits, transporting around 17kg of Class A drugs in just one year.

But how lucrative is the drug trade in Nottinghamshire – and how does it work?

Andrew O’Hagan worked for the Nottinghamshire Police Department for 31 years, stepping up to the role of Serious and Organized Crime Police Team’s Detective Sergeant.

He previously helped investigate notorious Nottingham criminals, including Colin Gunn.

He is now working as a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University.

Colin Gunn

How much is the industry worth in Nottingham?

Mr O’Hagan explained to Nottinghamshire Live about how much the illegal drug trade is worth in Nottingham and how the dealers are desperately trying to get rid of the huge amount of money they find themselves with.

“I always say that cocaine, in particular, makes the world go round,” Mr. O’Hagan said.

“Economies around the world are all financed by cocaine, and it will be no different in Nottingham.

“Much of the income accrued from cocaine, heroin, and all the drugs that come with it, all flow back into the economy in one way or another.

“Without a doubt, in Nottingham we’re talking about a multi-million pound business. They’ll rack up so much money they won’t be able to spend it. Law enforcement is doing their best to keep pace.

“It is a known fact that on a weekly basis thousands of pounds are sent on commercial flights from the East Midlands and Birmingham to places like Malaga and then get lost in Western Europe. It has been happening for years. “

What are the dealer’s methods?

He says the recent police investigation and lawsuits show how much the industry has changed since his retirement in 2010, with social media giving dealers a new way to contact potential customers – but also a “ridiculous” way to show their new wealth. .

He said: “At that time they had lists of people buying the drugs by text message and things like that. Now they advertise on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for example.

Escoffery, Chand and Neufville in Mexico
Escoffery, Chand and Neufville in Mexico

“They can’t help it. They are hoarding so much money and wealth where they think they aren’t going to get caught.”

He added: “Now that they have been put aside, there will be people who will come and replace them. Different people, the same industry, really.”

Where are the problem areas in the city?

During Mr O’Hagan’s time working for the Nottinghamshire Police, he said problem areas included St Ann’s, Meadows, Hyson Green and Radford.

He says such problem areas still exist in Nottingham for officers to this day, which has been the case for many years.

“That will never change,” he continued.

“We used to do operations in various parts of Nottingham – I still remember doing an operation on Radford Road in Hyson Green and weeding out about 15 street dealers because of complaints. We go back to about 15 years old, of course.

“But less than a week after that, another group of drug dealers took over. The pandemic hasn’t stopped people from being addicted.

“Cocaine and heroin are what I call the ‘constant’ drugs. They’re the ones that will always be around, in my opinion – in Nottingham and everywhere else.

“Has it improved since I retired? I would say no. I would say the industry is still there. My point is reinforced by the sentences imposed on this organized criminal group. [headed by Chand]. You look at the money they were making, then you have to say the problem is there as it always has been.

“The police are still targeting these people but it is difficult. It is difficult work.”

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