Show off Encrochat drug dealer called 'loveablecrab' led police straight to his front door after posting images of swanky flat

Shaqeel Ditta
-Credit: (Image: Greater Manchester Police)

A show off drug dealer led police right to his front door after sending boasting images of his swanky city centre high rise flat.

Between April 2020 and May 2020 Shaqeel Ditta, 36, was conspiring with others using Encrochat - dubbed a 'WhatsApp for criminals' - to supply class A drugs.

After receiving information from the National Crime Agency, detectives from Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation to trace who was behind the anonymous handle ‘lovablecrab’.

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This soon led officers to Ditta, whose messages showed him arranging and facilitating the sale of large quantities of cocaine. Ditta would often source the drugs, then sell them on to buyers immediately, without ever having to come into contact with the drugs himself.

Ditta's apartment in the city centre
-Credit:Greater Manchester Police

Messages showed prices in excess of £40,000 per kilo, indicating he was making huge profits.

With the illicit money he made, Ditta enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, dropping tens of thousands of pounds at luxury retail shops. During a search of his apartment, police seized almost £50,000 worth of designer clothes along with an extra large money jar full of cash and coins, estimated to be around £3,000.

Images of the cocaine were found on his phone
Images of the cocaine were found on his phone -Credit:Greater Manchester Police

On March 14 this year, police executed a warrant at his city centre flat and he was arrested in his bed.

Ditta, of Kelso Place, Manchester, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

PC Natalie Fairhurst from our Serious Organised Crime Group said: “Ditta felt he could let his guard down when using his Encrophone, confident that he could operate with impunity to move large quantities of harmful substances across Greater Manchester and further afield.

Some of the cocaine that was recovered -Credit:Greater Manchester Police
Some of the cocaine that was recovered -Credit:Greater Manchester Police

“However, his messages provided a valuable insight into his nefarious operation and Ditta was left with little choice but to plead guilty to his crimes when presented with overwhelming evidence supported by his own incriminating messages.

“Whilst Ditta contemplates his actions over the next several years from the confines of his cell, we remain committed to relentlessly pursuing those involved in drug supply and organised crime across Greater Manchester.”