Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Anthony Savva, Vangelis Savva and Gursu Akgun jailed for more than 20 years in £246million drug probe
Three men have been jailed for more than 20 years for selling huge quantities of chemicals used to bulk up Class A drugs.
Brothers Antony Savva, 29, of Southfield Road in Ponders End and Vangelis Savva, 26, of Cobham Close in Bush Hill Park were sentenced at St Albans Crown Court yesterday with Gursu Akgun, 29, of Lawrence Avenue in Walthamstow.
The men pleaded guilty on January 15 to selling cutting agents in the belief it would encourage or assist an offence – namely the supply of class A drugs.
Three-and-a-half tonnes of powders including including Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Phenacetin, caffeine and paracetamol powder, which were bulk bought from China, were found in properties in Enfield and Walthamstow, including the criminals' homes, garages and a storage unit.
It is estimated that the amount of powder seized by the police, when mixed with class A drugs, could reach a street value of £246million.
Antony Savva was given a nine-year prison sentence and Vangelis Savva and Akgun were each jailed for six years and nine months.
A major investigation, named Operation Pillow, was carried out by the Eastern Region Serious and Organised Crime Unit (ERSOU), which targets organised crime.
Detective superintendent Mark Lay, from ERSOU, said: “I’m extremely pleased with the outcome of this investigation and the sentences laid down by the court.
“This was a highly organised and professional criminal operation on an industrial scale.
"The vast quantity of cutting agents seized would have had the potential to be mixed with hundreds of kilos of class A drugs.”
Although importing the substances is legal, the men were prosecuted under new legislation which means it is illegal to sell the bulking agents if there is a chance it would encourage or assist someone in carrying out an offence.
Detective Constable Chris Ratcliffe of ERSOU said: “During a covert operation, we found that these men were selling the substances to people, without asking for details, why they wanted it or what it was being used for.
“The new legislation enabled us to stop these people from propping up the drugs trade and making a lot of money out of the misery of others.
“I hope this outcome acts as a warning to others who are involved in similar practices that we will thoroughly investigate this type of crime, using all powers available to us to prosecute.”