Jailed: 28-year-old Rainham gunrunner and drug smuggler to east London cartel

Dardan Sardikaj. Photo: NCA

Dardan Sardikaj. Photo: NCA - Credit: Archant

A 28-year-old Rainham gunrunner and drug smuggler for a London cartel has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.

Gun seized by NCA. Photo: NCA

Gun seized by NCA. Photo: NCA - Credit: Archant

Dardan Sadikaj, of Farm Road, was sentenced today (August 13) at Blackfriars Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and a firearm at an ealier hearing.

Sadikaj was arrested in France on January 9 following a 16-month surveillance operation by the joint National Crime Agency (NCA) and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

During a stake-out in September 2016, officers watched as Sadikaj met with his cousin Besard Mustafaj at the Sunrise Carwash in High Road, Barking.

They arrested his cousin short after he left the scene.

A white plastic bag he was carrying was revealed to contain a converted Baikal pistol along with a magazine containing two live rounds.

In covert recordings obtained by the OCP in May 2017, Sakidaj explains that Mustafaj had been picking up the firearm for him so that he could sell it on to a customer.

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Referring to the gun as a ‘strap’, he said: “Caught him in a strap right here… they knew it was for me… the other boys, I knew them, they wanted to get straps off me so I was giving ‘em the strap…”

Further conversations recorded between February and May last year reveal Sadikaj making repeated reference to importing, cutting and selling hundreds of kilos of class A drugs including cocaine and heroin.

Using the terms ‘units’ and ‘food’ as euphemisms for kilos blocks of cocaine, in May 2017 he said: “If we sell two units we make 14… We keep one guy here to do the food… One of our guys will be in Belgium… We’ll distribute it at a garage…”

I’ve got full trust in it, my vision is that in 6 months, all of us will walk away with one mil each.”

Ergys Osmanja, an associate of Sadikaj, was arrested following the handover of 5kgs of cocaine in North London.

Officers found £6,000 in cash, a hydraulic press for forming blocks of cocaine, and one kilo of herbal cannabis at Osmanja’s flat in Proton House, Blackwall Way, Poplar.

Sadikaj had previously identified the flat as a location for someone to pick up drugs and was seen driving past the building twice on the day it was raided.

Matt McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership said: “Organised criminals like Sadikaj dealing in the supply of class A drugs perpetuate gang culture and serious violence which spreads through their supply chains and out, also putting innocent members of the public at risk.

“Not only was Sadikaj an established drug dealer, he was prepared to supply other criminal gangs with a ready-to-use firearm, providing them with the tools to intimidate others and potentially end lives.

“We are aligned in our efforts with the Metropolitan Police to disrupt criminals willing to fuel the illicit activities that spread violence and protect Londoners from harm.”