| 15.1°C Dublin

Designer drugs Gang jailed for selling cocaine worth €5.6m in bricks stamped with Prada logo

They distributed 56kg of class A drugs worth £5.6 million (approximately €6.7 million) across the United Kingdom

Close

The group stamped the Prada logo onto bricks of cocaine

The group stamped the Prada logo onto bricks of cocaine

The group stamped the Prada logo onto bricks of cocaine

A drugs gang has been jailed for more than 50 years after selling £5.6 million worth of cocaine that was packed into bricks and stamped with a Prada logo.

They distributed 56kg of class A drugs worth £5.6 million (approximately €6.7 million) across the United Kingdom.

West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCUWM) and the National Crime Agency in the UK uncovered the operation following a country-wide investigation into EncroChat, an encrypted mobile phone network that was shut down in June 2020.

The gang – consisting of ringleader Vikram Virdee (34), Dean Riley (55), and Richard Yarker (49) - were busted when officials exposed photos they sent to each other on the platform, including snaps of bundles of cash and blocks of cocaine marked with the brand name Prada.

Close

Vikram Virdee (34), Dean Riley (55), Richard Yarker (49), and Karl McQuillan (29) were all sentenced at Brimingham Crown Court (West Midlands Police)

Vikram Virdee (34), Dean Riley (55), Richard Yarker (49), and Karl McQuillan (29) were all sentenced at Brimingham Crown Court (West Midlands Police)

Vikram Virdee (34), Dean Riley (55), Richard Yarker (49), and Karl McQuillan (29) were all sentenced at Brimingham Crown Court (West Midlands Police)

All three were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday after previously pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A.

Their accomplice, Karl McQuillan (29), who delivered the drugs and collected cash around the country was also sentenced.

The group has been jailed for a combined total of more than 50 years.

Virdee, who organised the buying and supplying of the drugs, was jailed for 17 years.

Riley, the gang's accountant who handled cash and distribution, was jailed for 9 years and 10 months. When officers arrested him at his home in the summer of 2020, he had more than £17,000 in cash and 2.2kg of cocaine stashed around the property.

Yarker was jailed for 15 years. The court heard that police found 3kg of cocaine and £25,000 in cash at his home.

And drug runner McQuillan,was jailed for 8 years and 3 months.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

A fifth member of the gang was also previously sentenced in August 2020. He was jailed for four years and eight months.

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Leanne Lowe said: “This was a complex investigation in which we worked through lots of evidence; conversations, images and CCTV footage as well as mobile phone data to piece together what these men were doing and how they were connected to one another.

“Not only have we disrupted a chain of supply, we have also removed a huge quantity of drugs.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy