Prolific Albanian drug dealer sentenced – Supplied over 1 million worth’ of cocaine in 4 months

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

An Albanian drug dealer who supplied more than £1 million of cocaine in just four months was imprisoned last Friday. Investigators of Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) identified Xhuljan Shehu (photo above) as a prolific drug dealer who used the encrypted communications platform EncroChat.

The 30-year-old oversaw cocaine importations and distribution in the United Kingdom, and arranged for drugs to be sold in the Belgian cities of Anvers and Brussels. Proceeds were then laundered to Albania and the Netherlands.

He supplied 30 kilos of cocaine with a street value of £1.05 million between March 23 and June 2 2020, which he orchestrated from a flat in Whittington Way, Pinner, north west London, under the EncroChat handle ‘Maidenram’. He also discussed using his ill-gotten gains to buy property in Albania worth £2 million.

NCA officers arrested Shehu at an address in High Street, Uxbridge, on 24 November 2021.

Deep dive

Further investigations showed he had used a fraudulent Greek passport to secure the tenancy on the Pinner flat, in an attempt to disguise his drug dealing identity. A bank card in the same name was found in his wallet.

When interviewed, Shehu denied owning an Encro phone or having any involvement in drug dealing, instead claiming that he worked in construction and was studying part-time for a degree. He claimed to have no knowledge of the Pinner flat and said he only lived in Uxbridge.

This was disproved by NCA investigators who found a photo on his phone of an Albanian-language TV programme taken inside the Pinner flat, supporting the case it was occupied by an Albanian speaker. The phone also contained other photos of drugs and cash taken inside the same flat.

Property fixtures and fittings from the photos were matched with a Right Move rental advert for the flat.

NCA officers trawled through 20,902 messages on Shehu’s Encro phone. These showed that he’d had conversations with other handles and sent instructions about checking drug quality and deals.

Shehu also delivered some of the drugs in person and helped to count cash profits. The terms “loaf, pieces and bread” are mentioned 204, 47 and 23 times respectively in the messages, which demonstrates knowledge of the language used for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Shehu was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court on March 22 last year. He was sentenced to 11 years and three months at the same court Friday, 29 September.

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