3 Indian-Origin Men Jailed In UK For Running Large-Scale Drugs Factory In UK

The accused were sentenced 24 years imprisonment at a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday after the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit were able to prove in court that the men were selling fake pharmaceutical drugs illegally on the dark web

Indian origin men jailed in UK (Representational Image)

A group of Indian-origin men, including a father-son duo, have been sentenced to a total of 24 years imprisonment after being convicted of running what Scotland Yard described as a large-scale drugs factory in west London.

Allen Valentine, 63, his son Roshan Valentine, 39, and Roshan’s childhood friend Krunal Patel, 40, were sentenced at a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday after the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit were able to prove in court that the men were selling fake pharmaceutical drugs illegally on the dark web.

While Valentine was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment, Roshan Valentine was jailed for seven years and Patel for six years.

“The three men ran a sophisticated, large-scale production of fake pharmaceutical drugs sold on the dark web that appeared to be genuine,” said Detective Constable Alex Hawkins, of the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit who led the investigation.

“Their operation was solely for the greed of those involved bearing no concern for the vulnerabilities of those purchasing these drugs. Some of the drugs contained completely different chemicals from those which should be in the genuine tablets; some of them are extremely dangerous,” he said.

All three were charged with conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and money laundering offences in August last year. While Patel and Roshan Valentine pleaded guilty to the offences in February, Allen Valentine pleaded not guilty but was proven guilty following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court in May.

“Our specialist Cyber Crime Unit are experts at infiltrating the sale of illegal items on the dark web. We work collaboratively with International Law Enforcement partners to ensure operations like this are stopped in their tracks," said Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, who leads the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit.

The police said the trio made at least 3.5 million pounds in illicit profit with this operation, with several accounts on different dark web markets advertising the sale of drugs such as Xanax, Diazepam and in the past Valium.

Their charges included conspiracy to produce, possess and supply controlled drugs of Class C; Possessing a controlled drug of Class C with intent to supply; conspiracy to sell trademarked goods without authorisation; conspiracy to use a registered trademark for labelling or packaging goods without authorisation; possession of articles designed to make unauthorised copies of registered trademarks; and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

The Met Police detectives began the investigation in January 2022 and, soon after, they discovered the three men were visiting a warehouse unit at Acton Business Park in west London.

It was from here that the drugs were produced, packaged and supplied. The men were operating under the guise of a company called Puzzle Logistics Limited which was formed in 2016, the Met Police said.

Each of the men visited the unit on a daily basis, often staying for much of the day. Krunal Patel would frequently leave with large bags, returning 10 to 15 minutes later without the contents of the bags. Users would purchase the drugs on the dark web, paying in cryptocurrency, which were then posted.

Detectives utilised specialist cyber tactics to prove it was the Valentines and Patel who were making and selling the illegal substances. They determined the three men converted 3.5 million pounds from cryptocurrency into fiat currency, or pound sterling, and the accounts were frozen by police.

On August 17, 2022, Krunal Patel was arrested near the warehouse, with 15 parcels labelled for posting to addresses across the UK. Inside those parcels were tablets imprinted “Xanax” and “Teva”, both brand names for licensed medicines within the Benzodiazepine group. Roshan and Allen Valentine were arrested later that same day.

Officers searched the warehouse and found a concealed laboratory where a large amount of equipment and several containers of chemical substances were discovered, along with numerous crates of pills manufactured on site.