Minicab driver ‘acted as drugs courier’ – court

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A MINICAB driver and his cousin from Rotherham played key roles in a national operation to supply cutting agents for Class A drugs, a court heard.

Zakir Hussain, 29, of Felham Road, was a cabbie by day – but on the side worked as a courier for his cousin Omar Sadique in the supply of controlled illegal drugs, it is claimed. Sadique, also 29, of Regents Street, Kimberworth, is accused of running a business on a national scale supplying cutting agents – powders mixed with raw cocaine to make the drug go further.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he ran the enterprise under the guise of company OA Supplies Ltd, and sold direct to drug dealers and regional distributors.

He had premises at Valley Works industrial estate in Ecclesfield, Sheffield. When they were searched by police in February 2010 a substantial store of cutting agents was found, the court was told.

Hussain was Sadique’s assistant until the end of 2009 – and in August that summer he delivered chemicals to a man called Ty Ripley in Kent, it is claimed.

Ripley is accused of using land at a farm in Kent to store chemicals including caffeine, lidocaine, phenacetin and benzocaine. When police searched the farm they discovered a barrel containing plastic bags of white powder.

Allister Walker, prosecuting, said 40-year-old Ripley was “at the very hub” of the case as a regional distributor of cutting agents supplied to him by Sadique.

Sadique denies conspiracy to supply cocaine, and he and Hussain both deny assisting in the supply of controlled drugs. Cutting agents, Mr Walker said, were an integral part of drug trafficking.

Seven men and two women in total are on trial. The case continues.