Five members of a Sheffield drugs gang have been jailed for a total of 82 years after masterminding a £125m heroin and cocaine production ring.
The men were heard by neighbours in a plush flat in the leafy suburb of Endcliffe, blending and moulding the drugs using food processors and an industrial cast-iron press.
The amount of heroin produced, the prosecution said, equalled one per cent of the world’s total annual production of the Class A drug, based on UN figures.
Mohammed Zulficar, aged 33, of Cranworth Place, Eastwood, Rotherham, was jailed for 24 years as the ‘director’ of the ring.
Adnan Lal, 27, of Crabtree Close, Fir Vale, Sheffield, was handed an 18-year sentence while Mohammed Ishaq, 39, of Main Street, Mexborough, was jailed for 16 years.
Mohammed Faizan, aged 26, of Whiteways Close, Fir Vale and Haidar Ali, 25, of Earl Marshal Road, also Fir Vale, were given 12 years each.
The gang was foiled in September 2010 after two police officers attended the block on Endcliffe Crescent for an unrelated matter.
Neighbours raised concerns about the goings-on in another flat and subsequent investigations revealed an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of drugs and production equipment in a locked cupboard.
The neighbours were only confident enough to give evidence two years later, after they had moved abroad.
Judge Peter Kelson QC at Sheffield Crown Court said: “They had the public spiritedness to see this through. It’s a very, very public spirited thing to do.
“They heard the tell-tale signs of drug production with great frequency - the blenders, the press, the bagging and the sealing. They heard that several times a week.”
Further investigation revealed the machines started working in April 2010 and, based on the number of hours they ran would have produced drugs with a street value of about £125m.
Judge Kelson said: “This was Class A drugs supply on a massive scale and bigger than most cases I have seen come through South Yorkshire.”