Indian-Origin Woman Gets 7 Years In UK Jail For Using Minors In Drug TradeSarina Duggal was part of a criminal gang which exploited two children. (File)
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The criminal gang was found to have been exploiting two children, both missing from London, to run their county line from London to Bournemouth.

London:  A 28-year-old Indian-origin woman is among six people jailed for their role in using minor children in their drugs supply operations in the UK.

Sarina Duggal was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment last week for her role as a member of a gang that controlled drugs supply in and around London and Birmingham and supplied in Bournemouth, the Metropolitan Police said.

Five members of the group were found guilty last month at Bournemouth Crown Court following a seven-week trial, and Duggal and others were sentenced last Thursday to a total of more than 39 years’ imprisonment at the same court.

“This investigation resulted in the closure of a significant county drug line supplying crack cocaine and heroin onto the streets of Bournemouth, causing misery to local residents,” said Detective Constable Jack Jeffries from Met Police-led Operation Orochi.

“In addition, two missing children from separate parts of the country were safeguarded at different times, allowing appropriate support and diversion mechanisms to be put in place to help prevent them from being involved in county lines activity in the future,” he said.

“The sentences handed down to this group demonstrates how seriously the courts take this offending, and we will continue to use all available resources to combat this activity,” he added.

Operation Orochi is the Met Police’s Specialist Crime team dedicated to tackling high-harm offenders involved in county lines drugs supply. It proactively targets London-based line holders, working in partnership with importing county forces.

The gang members were found guilty of facilitating the travel of another with a view to exploitation and conspiracy to supply Class A banned drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin.

The Met Police investigation into the gang began in July last year after a 16-year-old boy from Farnborough was arrested in Bournemouth for being in possession of a large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin.

A mobile phone was seized from him following his arrest, and he was released under investigation whilst support mechanisms could be put in place to safeguard him.

The investigation was then referred to the Met’s Operation Orochi team due to concerns of the child being used by a county lines gang – which transports illegal substances across different police jurisdictions – to supply drugs in Bournemouth.

The police said its detectives carried out extensive analysis of communications data of key contacts between the offenders, mobile phone downloads, including social media conversations between them.

They also trawled through hours of CCTV, looking at a hotel within Bournemouth. Four of the offenders, including Sarina Duggal, were identified as controlling the “Hustle” county drug line, which had operated within Bournemouth, a coastal town in south England. The 16-year-old child caught earlier was found to have been working for them.

The criminal gang was found to have been exploiting two children, both missing from London, to run their county line from London to Bournemouth and, in doing so, placed them at the forefront of the supply chain, exposed to the most risk whilst they harnessed the profits, the court heard.

The teenagers were not prosecuted and were instead referred to Children’s Services from respective local authorities.

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