Six men have been sentenced to a combined total of more than 14 years’ imprisonment for numerous drug supply offences in Tower Hamlets, following a four-month covert surveillance operation.

The men, who were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 27 and Friday, 28 September, were convicted following a series of raids and arrests made in June and July in east London. This comes as part of a long-term crackdown on the supply of drugs, violence and anti-social behaviour in the Whitechapel area.

Over the past few months, 31 men have been sentenced to a combined total of more than 100 years’ imprisonment in relation to the same investigation.

The operation, known as ‘Continuum’, is a partnership operation between police, Tower Hamlets Council and local housing associations.

A total of 52 individuals have been charged in connection with the investigation, and over the past two months, 34 men and four male youths have pleaded guilty to over 70 drug offences.

More than 300 officers were involved in the raids, led by Tower Hamlets officers, with additional support from the Territorial Support Group (TSG), surrounding boroughs and the Met’s Dog Unit.

During searches of more than 50 addresses, officers seized over £60,000 in cash, over half a kilo of Class A drugs and four stun-guns.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Hamer, the Tower Hamlets Crime, Gangs and Drugs lead, said: “This has been a significant operation for Tower Hamlets and removing these men from our streets is an incredible result for the local community and London as a whole. They were all linked to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and putting them in jail will severely disrupt the supply of drugs in the area.

“Operation Continuum responds to significant community concerns by targeting drug dealers, as well as providing addiction support for drug users. By tackling drug dealing in the area we can continue to have a positive and long-term impact on related crimes such as violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The continued support of our community is essential to achieve these results and I would like to thank those in our community for providing us with ongoing support. I hope these sentences demonstrate that our actions, in conjunction with Tower Hamlets Council, show we continuously act on their concerns. We will continue to dismantle crime, prosecute those people who defy the law and safeguard our community.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “This is a great result for Tower Hamlets. Residents have told us that anti-social behaviour and crime associated with drugs is one of their biggest concerns, and our work with the police is tackling this head on.

“Our joint message to drug dealers is clear – we will push for the strongest penalties for those who peddle drugs in the borough.

“We will also continue to support those who are victims of drug dealing. We have some of the best services in London to support people with substance misuse issues and we will continue to do all we can to help them turn their lives around.”

Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, added: “Drug dealing is a blight in our community and it is a priority for the council and the police to disrupt the drug markets in the borough.

“Our partnership work with the police is taking hundreds of drug dealers off the streets and we will continue to maximise our resources to make our streets safer.”

Those sentenced are:

Junel Ahmed, 23 (24.01.95), of Berner Terrace, Tower Hamlets, was sentenced to three years and three months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

Atefur Rahman, 18 (10.03.00), of Beadnell House, Cable Street, Tower Hamlets, was given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty on 14 June to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

Ruhel Hussain, 18 (26.04.00), of Smithfield Court, Cable Street, Tower Hamlets, was given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty on 26 July to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine.

The following men were sentenced on Thursday, 27 September:

Alomgir Hussain [A24], 25 (14.07.93), of no fixed abode, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine on 21 September.

Mahmudur Hassan, 23 (11.11.94), of Clearbrook Way, Tower Hamlets, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty on 11 July to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

Mohammed Sherwaan Chowdhury, 18 (23.10.99), of Sidney Street, Tower Hamlets, was given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty on 8 June to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and possession of criminal property. He was also handed a three-month electronic curfew and 150 hours of community service.

The following men will be sentenced later in the year:

Masoom Ali, 18 (07.05.00), of Whitethorn House, Prusom Street, Tower Hamlets is due to be sentenced on 3 October after pleading guilty to the supply of crack cocaine and the supply of heroin.

Dilshad Chowdhury, 47 (15.02.71), of Brady Street, Tower Hamlets, is due to be sentenced on 18 October after pleading guilty on 19 July to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

Konstantinos Tsoukanas, 36 (15.04.82), of Old Montague Street, Tower Hamlets, is due to be sentenced on 19 October after pleading guilty on 18 July to possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin and the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

Mohammed Maruf, 23 (31.03.95), of Broomfield Street, Tower Hamlets, is due to be sentenced on 23 November after pleading guilty on 3 September to the supply of crack cocaine, the supply of heroin and possession of an imitation firearm.

Two further men were arrested and charged on Tuesday, 18 September, with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin. They both appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 19 September and pleaded not guilty, they are:

Aaron Mahmood Clements, 32 (05.03.86) of Turin Street, Tower Hamlets, and has been remanded into custody to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 17 October.

Rizwan Ahmed, 24 (03.07.94), of Warner Place, Tower Hamlets, and has been remanded into custody to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 17 October.