Sisters turned gangsters ran multi-million pound drugs ring from ‘beauty booth’
Two sisters turned gangsters were running a multi-million pound drugs ring from a beauty business, police have said.
Shazia Din, 42, led a crime group based in Bury, Greater Manchester, with her sister Abia Din, 45.
But her relationship with Peter Wrafter, 57, saw the supply and distribution of heroin, cocaine and amphetamines spread throughout South Yorkshire-based networks too.
Police said a beauty business – known as ‘The Beauty Booth’ – was set up by the Bury family as a front to launder dirty money made from vast profits, the Manchester Evening News reports.
They had contacts with drugs addicts and other dealers who were recruited as couriers to carry the drugs and cash across the borders of Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.
Greater Manchester Police carried out a drug trafficking investigation which saw 17 people jailed for their roles in the operation from December 2018 to July 24, 2019.
Over 60 kilos of class A drugs including heroin and cocaine, £300,000 in criminal cash, a hydraulic press, drugs equipment, a handgun and ammunition were seized following GMP’s Operation Heart.
Two sides of the M62 joined forces – a matriarch of a crime family from Bury and the daughter of a major drug dealer from Doncaster, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Andrew Ford told the court that after Wrafter was arrested and imprisoned, Din “promoted” her son Hassan, 21, to be the leader of the business, and Natalie Wrafter, 31, took over from her father.
Mr Ford said: “Natalie would source class A drugs on a wholesale amount for onward supply in Doncaster, contact was then made with Shazia and the North West, then couriers would be set up sometimes from Manchester and sometimes from Doncaster.
“On December 19, 2018 encrypted devices belonging to Shazia Din and Lewis Yates were engaged in a data session which took place not long after a phone call between Peter Wrafter and Shazia Din.
“On January 3, Yates was seen leaving an address in Doncaster and surveillance officers saw Wrafter pass Yates a cash sum.
“Yates then drove to Cheetham Hill, where he was stopped by officers – he had children in the vehicle and in the passenger seat was a bag containing £10,000 and encrypted mobile phone.
“Four days later Wrafter was arrested in Doncaster in a Mercedes van – a revolver and ammunition as well as cash and phones were recovered.
“At the house he shared with his daughter Natalie, they found it contained 26 kilos of amphetamine, a kilo of heroin and encrypted phones.
“After his arrest there were frantic efforts to contact him from Shazia Din and her son Hassan.”
A month after Peter Wrafter’s arrest, Shazia Din and Natalie Wrafter were seen by a surveillance operation exchanging thousands of pounds worth of drugs money in the car park of Doncaster Prison, prior to visiting Peter Wrafter, who was an inmate, the court heard.
Natalie Wrafter and drugs ‘wholesaler’ Adam Hopewell controlled a group of drugs couriers at the Yorkshire end of the operation and Shazia Din also ran her own couriers, police say.
In March, police raided a flat on The Rock, in Bury, which was being used by the Din family as a ‘safe house’.
Inside they found £66,000 in cash and a money counting machine, 1kg of cannabis, digital scales, and a vacuum packing machine, the court heard.
This led to a number of couriers and others being caught in the act.
In a final strike police raided Shazia and Hassan Din at their home address in The Drive, Bury, and Abia at her home in Woodman Drive, Bury, the court was told.
All were in possession of cash, encrypted mobile phones, and luxury items including Rolex watches and a £60,000 diamond ring.
They also had use of expensive lease cars, including a Mercedes worth £50,000, it was said.
Sentencing them, Judge Alan Conrad QC said: “This was a professional, organised conspiracy network, with carefully chosen workers, some of them yourselves, who were employed ranging from organisers to facilitators to couriers and their assistants, and those who were prepared to warehouse the drugs.
“The main conspiracy was long running and carefully organised, apart from the very large amounts of drugs and cash involved.
“The effects of controlled drugs on the users of addiction, even some amongst you, are ill-health, degradation and sometimes even death – together with the financial pressure causing acquisitive crime to follow.”
The 19 who have been sentenced
Shazia Din, of Bury, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs, and conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property, was jailed for 15 years.
Abia Din, of Bury, pleaded guilty to converting and transferring criminal property. She was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs and was jailed for 18 years.
Hassan Din, of Bury, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B drugs and conspiracy to transfer criminal property. He was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was jailed for 14 years.
Natalie Wrafter, of Doncaster, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs, and conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property, and was jailed for 11 years and three months.
Adam Hopewell, 32, of Rossington, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class and class B and conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property. He was jailed for nine years and six months.
Lee Davis, 37, of Prestwich, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs was jailed for nine years.
Mark Bird, 33, of Doncaster, was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and jailed for seven years.
David Wright, 54, of Heywood, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely and conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property. He was jailed for four years.
Melvyn Sheldon, 40, of Doncaster, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and jailed for six years.
Lewis Yates, 32, of, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property, and the production of cannabis, and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and placed on an electronically monitored curfew.
Rachel Turpin, 39, of New Rossington, was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 2 years, placed on an electronically monitored curfew and handed 150 hours of unpaid work.
Jonathon Ramsbottom, 37, of Maesteg, South Wales, was convicted by jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and handed four years and six months imprisonment.
James Dickson, 61, of Doncaster, was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and jailed for four years and six months.
Rocky Smith, 31, of Goole, pleaded guilty during trial to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Last year Peter Wrafter, of Doncaster, was convicted before Sheffield Crown Court of possessing a prohibited weapon (handgun); possessing ammunition without a certificate; possessing heroin with intent to supply, possessing amphetamine with intent to supply and was jailed for 12 years.
Also, convicted last year was Alan Forster, 42, of Doncaster, for possessing cocaine with intent to supply and driving whilst disqualified. He was jailed for three years, six months.
Lewis Darcy, 22, of New Rossington, was convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for five years.
Arjan Bedesha of County Durham, was convicted of money laundering offences and was jailed for three years four months.
And in September, Graham Towriss, 28, of Heywood, was convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to supply; possessing heroin with intent to supply; possessing a controlled drug of Class A with intent to supply; possessing cannabis with intent to supply; possessing amphetamine with intent to support; driving when unfit through drink or drugs and dangerous driving. He was jailed for six years.