London: Sarina Duggal, a 28-year-old individual of Indian origin, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for her involvement in a drug supply gang operating in London, Birmingham, and Bournemouth, according to the Metropolitan Police. Following a seven-week trial at Bournemouth Crown Court, five members of the group were found guilty last month, and Duggal and others received their sentences last Thursday, totalling more than 39 years’ imprisonment.
Detective Constable Jack Jeffries, part of the Metropolitan Police-led Operation Orochi, stated, “This investigation resulted in the closure of a significant county drug line supplying crack cocaine and heroin onto the streets of Bournemouth, causing misery to local residents.” He further added that two missing children from different parts of the country were safeguarded during different stages of the operation, allowing appropriate support and intervention measures to be implemented to prevent their involvement in county-line activities in the future.
Operation Orochi is the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Team dedicated to addressing high-harm offenders engaged in county-line drug supply. It actively targets line holders based in London in collaboration with law enforcement agencies in the areas where the drugs are being distributed. The convicted gang members were found guilty of facilitating the travel of others with the intent to exploit them and conspiring to supply Class A banned substances such as crack cocaine and heroin.
The Metropolitan Police launched the investigation into the gang in July of the previous year after a 16-year-old boy from Farnborough was apprehended in Bournemouth for possessing a substantial quantity of crack cocaine and heroin. Upon his arrest, a mobile phone was seized from him, and he was released under investigation while efforts were made to provide him with appropriate support and protection.
Due to concerns that the child may have been involved with a county lines gang transporting illegal substances to Bournemouth, the case was referred to the Met’s Operation Orochi team. Detectives meticulously analysed communication data, including social media conversations, between the offenders and their key contacts. Additionally, extensive CCTV footage, including surveillance of a Bournemouth hotel, was reviewed. This investigation revealed that four of the offenders, including Duggal, were in control of the “Hustle” county drug line operating in Bournemouth. The previously arrested 16-year-old was found to be working for them.
The criminal gang was found to have exploited two missing children from London, using them to run the county line between London and Bournemouth. These children were placed at the forefront of the supply chain, exposing them to significant risks while the gang profited from their activities. It is important to note that the teenagers were not prosecuted and were instead referred to the respective local authorities’ Children’s Services for appropriate support.