Ilford station was ‘an open market for drug dealing’, court hears

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:28 15 February 2017

Ilford Station.

Ilford Station.


Ilford station was described as “an open market for the dealing of drugs” as the trial of an alleged drug gang began yesterday.

The defendants

Abdul Boota, 18, of Fairlop Road, Leytonstone.

Klevis Locaj, 20, of no fixed abode.

Edison Capa, 19, of Ingrebourne Road, Rainham.

Xhefri Keta, 30, of Elderfield Road, Hackney.

Ardit Isha, 20, of Kensington Gardens, Ilford.

Aleem Khan, 27, of Kensington Gardens, Ilford.

Six men, aged from 18 to 30, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court charged with conspiracy to supply heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis outside Costa Coffee, in Cranbrook Road, between March and September last year.

Most of the group were arrested in early morning raids by British Transport Police (BTP) officers on September 1.

Opening the case, prosecutor Martyn Bowyer told the jury: “In March last year the area around Ilford station became an open market for the selling of illegal drugs, in particular heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.

“On an almost daily basis, gangs of young men, mainly of an Albanian extraction but also Afghan, gathered around the main entrance to Ilford station – particularly in the vicinity of a Costa Coffee shop.”

Mr Bowyer then revealed a collection of more than 200 surveillance photographs showing the six defendants and a number of other young men, allegedly selling drugs outside the station.

The court then saw covert footage of the gang, filmed by five undercover BTP officers on 11 separate days in July last year.

The defendants, who claimed they only visited the cafe to socialise, deny the charges.

The trial continues.

For the full story, pick up tomorrow’s Ilford Recorder.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder