Drug gang who made deliveries with identical pink backpacks jailed for more than 37 years

·2-min read

A gang that wore a courier uniform and identical pink backpacks to deliver drugs worth nearly £2 million across London has been jailed for more than 37 years .

Gang leader Tiago Thomaz De-Lima used a highly encrypted chat service to arrange wholesale purchases of kilos of cocaine, MDMA and crystal meth.

De-Lima told other users he could "sell anything I touch", while sharing price lists for drugs and pictures of what was on offer.

He acted as supplier, bulk buying the goods which were then distributed by four other members of the gang.

The drivers were required to wear a uniform to blend in but wore distinctive pink backpacks, each with a "team" number written on it and a different coloured wallet inside with the driver's name.

All six suspects were arrested on 22 February at an address in Cromwell Road, London, where officers found tables covered in drugs.

The street-deal amounts were lined up and clearly marked for distribution.

Across three locations police seized stock valued at nearly £2 million.

De-Lima's home in Kensington and Chelsea was also raided, as well as a storage unit in Alperton where police seized a commercial pill press, a cash counter and large boxes of packaging, including zip lock bags.

The group of five were all sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, 14 October having pleaded guilty in May.

Larissy Nascimento, another member of the gang who acted as a bookkeeper for the "teams", is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 19 November.

DC James Hughes from the Specialist Crime Unit said: "We know that violence we see in London's streets is inextricably linked to drugs such as the ones that De-Lima and his colleagues were distributing across London.

"The meticulous investigative work carried out by my team which unravelled this case of highly organised criminals demonstrates the detective capabilities of the Met and shows our commitment to taking these controlled substances off London's streets.

"We hope that today's result sends a clear message to those involved in illicit activities that the Met does not welcome this kind of enterprise in London, and our Specialist Crime Units will work determinedly to dismantle organised crime groups such as this."

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