A man who used a Cambridgeshire car wash to store and supply drugs has been jailed for more than six years.
On January 26, 2015, under Operation Puffin, officers visited a hand car wash in Swavesey, believing they would uncover human trafficking.
Officers found six people all working and living in extremely poor conditions, who were taken away by officers to a place of safety and referred under the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for human trafficking.
About £13,000 in cash was seized from the site, along with a blue Volkswagen Passat registered to 25-year-old Eneja Dautaj, brother of the car wash’s owner.
After examining the car, in the boot officers discovered a black bin liner with a vacuum sealed bag of cannabis and a ‘bag for life’ containing an open vacuum bag with cannabis and weighing scales inside. They also found a black flask which contained wrapped packages of white powder, all worth a total of about £26,000.
Dautaj, of Bramdean Crescent in Lewisham, London, was located by officers and voluntarily interviewed under caution about the discovery, however he denied any knowledge of the drugs in the car.
The drugs packaging was forensically examined which revealed finger prints matching the defendant’s. He was charged with possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs in October last year.
Yesterday, (Thursday, May 12) he was found guilty of all charges following a two-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court and sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.
Chief Inspector James Sutherland, Area Commander for South Cambridgeshire, said: “Dautaj was running a criminal operation from the side of one of the county’s major routes and, as a result of Operation Puffin, he will now be in prison for a long time.
“Running criminal enterprises in our county will not be tolerated – we will remain focused on this and take action.
“I would like to thank all the officers involved in this case for their hard work and professionalism on what has been a difficult case.
“I would also like to thank our partners at South Cambs District Council who assisted with this operation and issued waste and planning enforcement notices in relation to the use of the land, which were complied with.
“As a result of Operation Puffin I am now confident that there are no other individuals living in squalor at any of the car wash sites within the South Cambs district.”
As part of the operation, £12,890 in cash seized from the Swavesey site has been forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).