'Terrified' Sheffield drug boss went on the run after police seized cash he owed other dealers

The boss of a family drug gang in Sheffield who is still on the run was "terrified" for his life after a near-fatal stabbing because police had seized cash he owed for drugs, a court heard.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 4:25 pm

Mohammed Anwar vanished after he was released under investigation following his arrest for dealing heroin and crack cocaine and money laundering in 2018.

He was sentenced in his absence to eight years and four months, on Thursday, at Sheffield Crown Court.

Police seized over £90,000 in cash, as well as a CS gas canister, cannabis, five 100 gram gold bars, 25 packages of crack cocaine and 24 packages of heroin, in February 2016.

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Mohammed Anwar was sentenced in his absence to eight years and four months for drug dealing and money laundering

Anwar enlisted two of his sisters, his mother, and his youngest brother to launder the proceeds from selling drugs over a seven-month period, and they were jailed earlier this month, the court heard.

His barrister, Richard Barradell, described how a "significant sum" of the money police confiscated was "owed for drugs" and he had been stabbed at a probation meeting following his release from prison.

"He nearly died," said Mr Barradell. "He was terrified. There were people he owed money to who were not to be messed with."

Anwar's brother and co-accused Arsalan Hussain received two years and three months, after pleading guilty to concealing criminal property, on June 18, 2018, and supplying cannabis, on July 2, 2018.

Mr Barradell said Hussain, 30, formerly of Charlotte Road, Sheffield, admitted the lesser cannabis charge after police were unable to tell if the "B" found in a drugs ledger stood for "brown" (heroin) or "bud" (cannabis).

More than £20,000 was found in his bank account, said Nathan Palmer, prosecuting, as part of the "sophisticated" money-laundering operation.

The court heard Hussain, who has two previous convictions for dealing cannabis, also awaits sentence for jumping bail.

Anwar, 31, formerly of St Bartholomew Court, Burgoyne Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, concealing criminal property and possession of cannabis, on June 8, 2018.

Mr Palmer told the court Anwar has previous convictions for possession of cannabis, and he was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, for controlling and coercive behaviour against his then partner, in December 2013.

Judge Graham Reed said Anwar was the leader of the "family business of drug dealing" over seven months, and the sums of money and drugs found by police demonstrated "he was operating in the expectation of substantial financial gain."

"He enlisted family members in a money laundering enterprise which was sophisticated," the judge said. "He organised putting cash into his family's bank account and sending money abroad.

"The fact he has been attacked by a drug dealer further up the chain is no mitigation."

Anwar has been listed as one of South Yorkshire Police’s ‘most wanted’ for months after he failed to turn up for his trial.