Deals on Wheels!

Liz Filmer
18 Oct 2021

Four female drug dealers posing as moped couriers who delivered an array of substances throughout London during lockdown were sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison last week.

Whilst the country was effectively shut down with "stay at home" orders, the four-woman team whizzed around the city for £220 a day, delivering products to customers from a menu of 90 different party drugs. These included MDMA, cocaine, crystal meth, LSD, cannabis edibles, ketamine, 2CB and magic mushrooms. They even had their line of heart-shaped ecstasy pills!

The women, all Brazilian nationals aged 24 to 33, were paid £220 a day and wore courier uniforms and carried pink backpacks, each of which featured a "team" number from 1-4. Paid £220 a day, they communicated with customers over the encrypted chat app "Signal" offering delivery between Monday to Saturday, 1 PM -10 PM via: "distribution centres"  in the Notting Hill and South Kensington areas of West London. 

The service proved very successful with the gang making £90,000 profit per month just on deliveries. Fellow Brazilian Tiago Thomaz De-Lima oversaw the operation ordering drugs in bulk and selling wholesale to other dealers as well as direct to the customer. The wholesale side of the process was conducted via an encrypted "Encrochat" phone, which proved to be the gangs' eventual downfall.

De-Lima and his associates were arrested as part of "Operation Venetico".  This was a series of raids carried out on drug gangs and organised crime groups by the police following their take over of the encrypted "Encrochat" network. 

Police discovered evidence on De-Lima's mobile phone, including images of blocks of cocaine, evidence of him selling fake IDs, bribing a prison officer and moving people out of the country by helicopter. Following the raid, carried out in February, police seized £2m worth of drugs, including the women's pink delivery rucksacks that were each packed with drug products between the values of £5,000-£10,000.

The five gang members were all sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday 14th October following their guilty pleas in May. De-Lima received 18 years in jail, with the delivery drivers sentenced to between 4 and a half and six years. A sixth member of the gang who acted as a bookkeeper, documenting transactions, will be sentenced next month. 

Liz Filmer