Southwark drug dealer who ran his criminal enterprise from prison get a further 25 years inside

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A jailed drug dealer who ran a cocaine trafficking operation from behind bars has been jailed for a further 25 years.

Forty-two-year-old Darryl Tawiah was already serving an eighteen-year sentence for drugs supply and firearms offences when he was arrested and charged by the National Crime Agency (NCA) last year.

Taiwah was sentenced last Wednesday week, 20 April, alongside associates, who helped him fix deals on the outside and launder the profits.

Working with people within the UK and the Netherlands, Tawiah’s organised crime group is believed to have been behind at least two tonnes of Class A drugs imported into the UK and then sold across London and the South East.

Co-conspirators, Dorian Vaciulis, Steven Johnson and Faisal Guled were all sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court.

Jason Hulme, operations manager at the NCA, said: “This three-year investigation took apart an established criminal enterprise which had imported tonnes of cocaine to the UK, where its trade fuels addiction, violence and exploitation.

“Tawiah operated a network outside that did his dirty work for him, with all taking a slice of the profits.

“Thanks to the diligence of our officers and partners, the Dutch police and Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin, we secured today’s convictions and hope any would-be drug traffickers are reminded of our continued pursuit of serious and organised criminals.”

Recorded conversations between Taiwah and his Netherlands-based supplier showed Tawiah was sourcing Class A drugs wholesale and masterminding their onward distribution and sale.

In one conversation the Dutch supplier told Tawiah: “I want you to move 50 [kilos] a week, don’t talk to me about one”. Taiwah responded: “No problem Bro…now that it is good, everybody is calling…..I need to get more money in…”

Other conversations revealed that Tawiah hoped to sell ‘coffee’ when he left prison, which is slang for heroin.

He also asked the supplier if he had ever heard of “2C” because “everybody is asking for it in the West End, Knightsbridge, Mayfair”.

2C, otherwise know as liquid GHB, is a drug which can cause loss of consciousness and is sometimes used in cases of ‘date rape’.

The court heard how Taiwah managed a network of people on the outside. Steven Johnson, 37 of Farlington Place, London is said to have collected and distributed drug deliveries.

Faisal Guled, 34, a Dutch national living in Camden, is said to have run a county lines operation which saw drugs sold across London and Northampton.

Rosemond Agyemang, 59, is then said to have laundered cash through bank accounts and pay the Dutch supplier’s people in the UK. When she was arrested outside Oval station in July 2019, she had thousands of pounds in cash on her.

Dorian Vaciulius, 34, from Feltham, London, is said to have worked for the Dutch supplier and would collect both cash and drugs.

Ali Reza Shokrolahi, 41, from London, is said to have been the gang’s lorry driver and was linked to a 30kg cocaine shipment that was seized at the UK border.

Tawiah, Vaciulis, Johnson, Agyemang and other alleged co-conspirators were arrested in March last year and charged with numerous offences relating to class A drugs and money laundering.

At Wood Green Crown Court, Tawiah, Johnson, Vaciulis and Guled were sentenced to a collective 70 years in prison after pleading guilty.

Agyemang was given a one year sentence at the same court last year, while Shokrolahi absconded while on bail and was absent from the hearing.

Jason Hulme said: “One of the men sentenced today remains wanted.

“We would appeal to anyone who thinks they may have information on the whereabouts of Ali Reza Shokrolahi to contact the NCA directly on 0370 496 7622 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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