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    HomeWorldUK Court Convicts Indian-origin Men for Operating a Large-scale Counterfeit Medicines Plant...

    UK Court Convicts Indian-origin Men for Operating a Large-scale Counterfeit Medicines Plant and Money Laundering

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    A group of Indian-origin men, including a father-son duo, have been found guilty of running a fake drug factory in west London. The factory produced and sold Benzodiazepines, a type of sedative which is a Class C controlled drug. The drugs were sold on the dark web and the operation made at least GBP 3.5 million in illicit profit. The trio also had several accounts on different dark web markets and advertised the sale of Xanax, Diazepam and Valium.

    The investigation was led by the Cyber Crime Unit of the Metropolitan Police after receiving intelligence from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the US. The investigation led to the first seizure of these chemicals in the UK and legislation will be amended later this year to include these drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act as Class A banned substances.

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    Krunal Patel and Roshan Valentine pleaded guilty to the charges while Allen Valentine pleaded not guilty and was found guilty after a trial. They were charged with conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and money laundering offences. All three will be sentenced at a later date.

    Detectives from the Cyber Crime Unit discovered the three men were visiting a warehouse unit in Acton Business Park in west London where the drugs were produced, packaged and supplied. Users would purchase the drugs on the dark web, paying in cryptocurrency, which was then posted. The Met’s Cyber Crime Unit said it has detailed knowledge of the dark web and training in cryptocurrency, allowing them to efficiently progress the investigation.

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    The investigation led to the arrest of Krunal Patel who was found near the warehouse with 15 parcels labelled for posting to addresses across the UK. Tablets imprinted with “Xanax” and “Teva” were found in the parcels. Roshan and Allen Valentine were arrested later that same day. Officers searched the warehouse and found a concealed laboratory where a large amount of equipment and several containers of chemical substances were discovered, along with numerous crates of pills manufactured on site.

    The Met Police said its enquiries are currently ongoing to verify claims made by Allen Valentine to the jury that he was a doctor with qualifications in pharmacy. A confiscation hearing to legally obtain their illegal profits will take place in due course.

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