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Suppliers jailed following ‘spice’ operation

Officers intent on cleaning up the streets of Westminster target dealers in the Class-B drug

11 August, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Police have been cracking down on those selling spice to the homeless population around Charing Cross 

SEVEN men and a woman have been received sentences, including jail terms and banning orders, for selling the synthetic drug “spice” following a Westminster police operation.

Officers have been attempting to tackle the supply of the Class-B drug as part of “Operation Kaskara”, aimed at clean- ing up the streets of Westminster. The operation was launched following three deaths and one murder that were “directly related to the psychoactive substance”, according to chief superintendent Peter Ayling.

The Westminster Borough Commander said: “In January, after three deaths, including one murder, directly related to the psychoactive substance commonly known as ‘spice’, Westminster’s Crime Squad began a detailed operation in conjunction with specialist officers and the local neighbourhood team.

“Spice wreaks havoc on users and causes great concern within the community. The substance has become prevalent within the homeless community, where dealers prey on some of the most vulnerable within our society. Officers felt passionately about tackling the dealing of spice.”

Among those convicted at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday was Augusto Limba, 26, who pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply the drug. Limba, who was homeless, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, a 12-month supervision order and a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Officers targeted those who were mainly supplying the drug to the homeless population in the Charing Cross area. They searched a number of properties in Westminster, Lambeth, Ilford and Dagenham.

Anthony White, 37, Ramzi Barkat, 45, Miguel Chaves, 40, Patrick Etiele, 32, Mark Akhimie, 48 and Keziah Watson, 19, all also pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to supply spice. They were all handed CBOs banning them from entering parts of Westminster for a number of years. They had been sentenced on July 26 to jail terms ranging between 12 and 16 months, except for Watson, who was given nine months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Harry Read, 20, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on August 4 for one count of supplying spice. He received a nine-month suspended sentence, a 250-hours community service order and was banned from entering parts of Westminster for two years.

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