London: A Punjab-origin man based in Walsall in the west Midlands has received prison sentences totaling 17 years following two investigations into drug and money laundering offences.
Popinder Singh Kandola, 54, from Skip Lane, was jailed for 10 years at the Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and money laundering. The case can only now be reported as Kandola was involved in a second trial at the Bristol Crown Court.
Kandola’s role was investigated in a plot to set up a crystal meth production centre in South West England. He received a consecutive seven-year sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to produce MDMA and amphetamine.
Paul Risby, branch commander of the National Crime Agency (NCA), said: “Kandola was at the centre of two organised crime groups determined to distribute large amounts of drugs throughout communities in West Midlands and the South West.”
“We believe he had been involved in the drug trade for many years and clearly thought he could operate above the law. Even while he was on bail for our offences, he became involved in a separate plot to produce crystal meth.
“Kandola has found out the hard way that the NCA and its partners won’t stop pursuing drug traffickers. He will now have to spend even more time in prison,” he added.
As part of the NCA investigation, officers found Kandola overseeing a drug handover in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham involving a number of his criminal associates. A bag containing 1.26kg of heroin was recovered.
During a meeting in the Coseley area, Kandola was observed by officers receiving a bag from another criminal associate which contained £50,000. Over the past two years, five of Kandola’s accomplices have received jail sentences totalling 28 years, the NCA said.