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Jailed News of #Encrochat: Newport drugs gang’s ‘second in command’ jailed for trafficking heroin


A DRUGS gang’s “second in command” has been jailed for his management role in trafficking multi kilo amounts of heroin in Gwent.

Rizwan Anwar, 29, from Newport, acted as his cousin Yusuf Ali’s “trusted lieutenant”.

He was caught as a result of Operation Venetic which saw the National Crime Agency and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies across the UK.

Ali was using EncroChat, an encrypted phone network primarily used by organised crime gangs that was cracked and shut down.

Anwar, of Rochester Road, Newport, appeared for sentence at Cardiff Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin between March 2020 and July 2020.

Andrew Jones, prosecuting, said: “Rizwan Anwar is the cousin of Ali.

“He was the trusted lieutenant to Ali and his second in command.

“Anwar’s role included gathering significant amounts of cash in readiness for wholesale multi kilo purchases from the upstream suppliers.

“He ensured that the drugs and bash (cutting agents) were stored at their correct locations and prepared and packaged for onward supply.”

Mr Jones added: “He directed others within the organised crime group to transport drugs, arrange and control the runners who sold the product and collect cash from debtors.

“Anwar had control over others in the supply chain to ensure compliance throughout it.”

The defendant admitted the amount of heroin involved was between 2kg and 6kg.

The court was told he had a previous conviction for possession of cannabis with intent to supply dating back to 2012.

Benjamin Waidhofer, representing Anwar, said his client had taken care of his mother who was “particularly unwell”.


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