UPDATE: Neighbours' shock at living next door to drugs lord 

THE kingpin of a multi-million pound cocaine racket has been jailed for a total of 16 years after police smashed one of the largest organised crime groups in the country.

Khalad Uddin, who stashed almost half a million pounds in cash at an Oxford penthouse, was put behind bars for his 'key role' as the middle man between Albanian gangsters and drug dealers across England.

The 35-year-old of Little Brewery Street, St Clements, Oxford, brokered large cocaine deals between European importers and customers in London, the West Midlands and the south west as far as Cornwall as well as Oxfordshire.

Uddin, branded the 'spider in the centre of the web', used his criminal cash to rent a £3,000-a-month flat in North Oxford and lease high-performance Lamborghinis.

But his extravagant lifestyle led police officers to raid his Scholars Mews apartment in Summertown on October 19 last year, where they found about £460,000 in cash bundles, 70 pairs of designer jeans valued each between £500 to £700 and high-value jewellery.

Police recover bundles of cash from inside the penthouse, on Banbury Road

A number of other properties he owns were also raided at the same time.

Detectives seized a 10-tonne hydraulic press used in the production of drugs belonging to Uddin, 40 mobile phones and anti-surveillance equipment.

They also recovered a jacket with a ballistic vest.

Oxford Mail:

Uddin was filmed by undercover officers

Throughout the whole of the case, named Operation Stingray, Thames Valley Police seized more than 10 kilos of cocaine and also found Uddin had arranged the purchase of two handguns, which were found in a shoebox in a VW people carrier.

Oxford Mail:

Uddin was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine and one count of money laundering.

The sentence will run alongside a 14-year sentence handed out to Uddin, who was raised in Oxford, earlier this month after being convicted of conspiracy to transfer firearms and ammunition.

Detective Chief Inspector Bruce Riddell told the Oxford Mail the case had resulted in 'the largest single cash amount' recovered by Thames Valley Police.

He added Uddin was a 'national distributor' of Class A drugs and was a 'key player' in co-ordinating exchanges and the movement of drugs.

After teaming up with other forces and the National Crime Agency, Thames Valley officers discovered his Oxford base was just the centre of his drug dealing empire.

Det Ch Insp Riddell said: "From this, he was living a lavish lifestyle, spending over £62,000 on renting fast cars and expensive properties in Summertown.

"The investigation developed through intelligence around him driving Lamborghinis, high-performance sports cars and living well beyond his means.

"We looked at him and realised he was a large scale dealer. He didn't have any legitimate means of employment.

"He was meeting criminals in London and criminals who were part of an Albanian crime group in London, and then meeting with people from the West Midlands area and as far as down south as Devon and Cornwall and also within Oxfordshire."


Oxford Mail:

THE £3,000-a-month penthouse in Scholar Mews, Summertown, was key in the prosecution of Uddin.

When it was raided by Thames Valley Police, they found spoils of his crimes, including:

  • About £460,000 in cash bundles
  • 70 pairs of designer jeans valued each between £500 to £700.
  • High-value jewellery
  • 40 mobile phones 
  • Anti-surveillance equipment
  • Bulletproof jacket 

10-tonne hydraulic press used in the production of drugs was found in one of the many properties owned by Uddin across Oxfordshire, which are now been looked into as proceeds of crime.

Throughout the whole operation , officers seized more than 10kg of cocaine and also found Uddin had arranged the purchase of two handguns, which they found in a shoebox being transported in a VW people carrier.


About 120 officers in total were involved in the investigation, which saw 13 other men along with Uddin jailed for a total of 99 years for their part in the network.

Undercover detectives watched the drug lord facilitate deals in and out of Oxfordshire and collected enough evidence before making his arrest.

CCTV footage shows Uddin meeting with other members drug network and leaving cars with plastics bags, believed to be containing cash.

Det Ch Insp Riddell said he thought Uddin had become 'carried away' with the money he was making.

He added: "I think we have got him right at the right time as he was trying to build his business - trying to build his crime group really.

"Uddin was about showing how wealthy he was and the lifestyle he led, and ultimately, that was his downfall because members of the community came forward and reported this to us to say he 'doesn't have a job, he is living well beyond his means, we do not know how he is getting this money', and there is only really one answer to that and that was through criminality.

"What I can confidently say is the middle and top tier of this organised crime group has been completely dismantled.

"We have also impacted on six other organised crime groups, two in London, one in the West Midlands, one in Devon and Cornwall and two in Oxfordshire, just through this one operation."

It is believed Uddin made Oxford the 'centre of his criminal activity' due to being between London and Birmingham and near motorways.

Officers raided about 12 of Uddin's properties simultaneously, including the penthouse he rented, on October 19 last year, having been watching him under cover since July.

Det Ch Insp Riddell added: "There is a big effect lower down the chain, taking out this amount of drugs, taking out over a half a million pounds in cash.

"The value of the drugs wholesale is in excess of half a million pounds as well, so the criminals will be missing that commodity, they will be missing that cash and there will be a lot of people out of pocket.

"The message is quite simple. We will relentlessly pursue people to get convictions, to get justice for the community, for these people who bring a lot of problems to local communities.

"There is no hiding place."


KHALAD UDDIN was effectively the middle man between Albanian drugs suppliers who were importing drugs into the UK and dealers across the country.

He directed Albanian suppliers in London to exchanges and facilitated the movement of drugs from the suppliers to the customers.

Uddin would typically set up meetings between various parties and receive payments for his role.

Oxford Mail:

Uddin was arrested on October 19, 2016, and charged three days later.
Detective Chief Inspector Bruce Riddell said undercover officers witnessed an exchange typical of Uddin’s behaviour outside Maidenhead in October last year, as part of Operation Stingray.

He said Uddin had brokered a deal between Steve Hutcheson, who was later jailed for nine years and six months, and member of the Albanian crime group Elsid Kopani, who was sentenced to nine years behind bars.

Det Ch Insp Riddell said: “Uddin had brokered that deal, put the two together and from there we recovered 5kg of cocaine.

“We also recovered in Kopani’s vehicle a hidden compartment, which had £70,000 in cash in it.

“And from Hutcheson’s address we recovered another £20,000 in cash, so Uddin was sitting above them, directing them and putting together.”

Uddin was labelled as being a key player between the suppliers coming into the country and the customers.

Police have said his arrest and conviction has disrupted and dismantled six other organised crime groups.