Two Bedford drug dealers behind a prominent phone line that supplied class A drugs in the town have been jailed, after £300,000 worth of heroin and cocaine was seized from addresses linked to them.
The ‘Asian K’ deal line, led by Imran Khan Ali, 42, of Oldfield Road, and Mohammed Salim Malik, 32, of Iddesleigh Road, supplied vast quantities of heroin and crack and powder cocaine around Bedford.
It is thought to have earned the pair more than £80,000 a year.
A Bedfordshire Police investigation established that the pair worked closely together to run their drug dealing operation.
Although Ali headed the organisation, the bulk of the day-to-day activity was undertaken by Malik, whose role it was to collect the drugs from Ali and then distribute to street dealers in Bedford. From there they would be sold to drug users.
The network was dismantled following an investigation which initially began with intelligence officers identifying the significance of the drug line.
Digital enquiries found that the phone frequently contacted the numbers of Ali and Malik, which were linked to intelligence reports detectives had collated across several other drug-related investigations over a four-year period.
In particular, the number thought to be the deal line had featured in ‘mail shot’ messages seen by officers, often linked to a dealer named ‘Rocky’.
The pair were arrested together in Malik’s vehicle in April 2021. Search teams later located three kilogrammes of heroin hidden within a backpack inside a wardrobe in Malik’s bedroom, and the deal line phone was found in his kitchen.
A search of Ali’s address found more heroin, crack cocaine, cutting agents, presses and other drug dealing paraphernalia.
The total worth of the illegal substances is thought to be around £300,000.
Malik pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, while Ali was found guilty of the same charges following a trail earlier this month.
Imran Khan Ali was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison. Mohammed Salim Malik was jailed for six years.
Detective Sergeant Rebecca Dilley, from Bedfordshire Police’s Central Tasking Team, said: “The dismantling of this deal line is a key step in tackling the flow of drugs into Bedford and I’m delighted this group will no longer be able to bring such dangerous and damaging substances into our communities.
“We had been working over a significant period to establish the individuals behind this drugs line and an in-depth picture had been built around their activities. The final piece of the jigsaw was being able to prove the identities of those involved.
“From the evidence we found when investigating, it is clear that they paid no regard whatsoever for the destruction being caused to some of the most vulnerable people in society, and I’m glad they have been brought to justice.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing, county lines or child criminal exploitation can contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or via the force’s online reporting centre.
All of these reports are fed into police intelligence systems and can help officers build up a better picture of organised crime.
You can also report information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.