‘Cuckooed’ flat in Bedford busted as county lines drug base

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court Image: South Beds News Agency

A cuckooed flat in Bedford was used as the base for county lines drug dealers, a court heard yesterday (Thursday).

Six men ran The Ginge Line from the flat in De Parys Avenue which they used as a base to deal heroin and cocaine in the area.

But they were busted in February 2020 when the police were tipped off that two of the flat’s vulnerable occupants were being held captive because cocaine had gone missing, Luton crown court heard.

Shamadul Islam, 22, of Ampthill Road, Bedford pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was found guilty of criminal damage, two assaults, blackmail, possessing an imitate firearms with intent to cause fear of violence and two charges of false imprisonment.

Naimour Ahmed, 22, of Faraday Square, Bedford was convicted of two counts of conspiring to supply Class A drugs.

Mohammed Ali, 21, of Cavendish Street, Bedford was found guilty of two counts of conspiring to supply Clas A drugs, two of false imprisonment, assault, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in public.

Amiral Hussain, 23, of Elstow Road, Bedford pleaded guilty to conspiring to two counts of supplying Class A drugs and criminal damage, supplying cannabis and possessing an offensive weapon.

Daniel Kight, 19,  Sandhurst Road, Bedford pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to supply Class A drugs and criminal damage.

Reece Thandi, 19, of Caister Road,  Bedford pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to supply Class A drugs and criminal damage.

Prosecutor Sarah Morris said when the drugs went missing the gang suspected the man and his partner. The victim said he had nothing to do with the disappearance but was not believed. The pair were falsely imprisoned and were subjected to degrading and humiliating acts.

She said: “He was made to strip and was subjected to physical assault – slapping and punching to face.” The man was subjected to a humiliating ordeal in the bathroom as a member of the gang searched him for drugs. The gang found what happened amusing.

The woman was made to strip and was physically assaulted. At one point an antique gun was held to the man’s head. The trigger was pulled, but there were no bullets were inside. A BB gun, axe, and a machete were found in the flat.

The man was made to transfer over £200 from his bank account. One escaped from the property and the police were alerted.

Earlier that day (13 February), CCTV showed five of the gang trying to break into another address in Bedford that was linked to one of the victims.

Ms Morris said Kight and Thandi were runners and couriers for others higher up the chain and spent most of the time at the cuckooed property. “The older defendants had a much more significant role. It was an enterprise that bore fruit and a significant income,” she said.

20 mobile phones were seized by the police. When Islam was arrested he had just under £6,000 on him, Hussain had £800 and Ahmed over £1,200.

While on bail Thandi continued to run the Ginge line between 20 October 2020 and 5 February last year. In May 2020 he and another man, with their hoods up and masks over their faces, threw tennis balls containing 6 grams of cannabis, tobacco and tobacco over the fence of Bedford Prison.

He admitted supplying Class drugs and conveying a List A article into prison as well have causing racially aggravated alarm to a police officer who he had called a “f…… immigrant.”

They are to be sentenced at a later date.