A GROUP of men who brought at least £50,000-worth of heroin to Newport from Bristol were ordered to pay back some of the profits, with two told to pay back just £1 each.
Shahid Hussein, 41, Ali Aleem, 26, Vijay Singh, 26, Andrew Williams, 29 and Freseth Ali, 28, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday. Last year, they were jailed for conspiracy to supply heroin for a total of 34 years.
Aleem, of no fixed abode and Singh, of Fishponds Road in Bristol, were given 28 days to pay £1 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Freseth Ali, of Downend in Bristol, must pay back £26,437.79 within six months.
Meanwhile, Andrew Williams, of Gaer Vale, in Newport, was given two months to pay £3,268.33.
Jeremy Jenkins, prosecuting, said regarding Ali: "He pleaded guilty prior to the trial. Mr Ali has benefitted from his criminal conduct to the sum of £74,486.18. There are available assets of £26,437.79."
Judge Philip Richards told him: "You enjoyed a criminal lifestyle. That sum will have to be paid within six months of today.
"If it is not paid by that time then you will have to serve a sentence of 58 weeks in prison which will be served consecutively to the term you are presently serving."
A decision on the amount Shahid Hussein will need to repay was adjourned until September 16.
The court heard Hussein previously claimed his significant income was from his job as a taxi driver.
The gang was arrested as part of Operation Bextor, set up to target the trafficking of class A drugs in Gwent.
Nearly half a kilogram of heroin, with a street value of nearly £50,000, was recovered as part of the operation.
Williams, 28, and Fraseth Ali, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin, while Hussein, Aleem Ali and Veejay Singh were found guilty after trial.
Judge Philip Richards, who sentenced the group, said the men had “a sophisticated plan”.
Andrew Carl Williams, of Maesglas Road, Newport, was jailed for six years; Shahid Hussein, 39, of Cranbrook Road, Bristol, got nine years in prison; and Fraseth Ali, of Downend Road, Bristol, was given a five-year sentence.
Aleem Ali, 25, of Chesterfield Road, Bristol, was sentenced to six years; while Veejay Singh, 27, of Fishponds Road, Bristol, was jailed for eight years.
DCI Jon Evans said the sentences, which come a week after another drug gang was jailed for a total of nearly 20 years, should serve as another warning to those who deal harmful drugs in Gwent.
He said: “Sooner or later we will catch up with you and, working with the Crown Prosecution Service, we will look to prosecute to the full extent of the law.
“This is another positive result for the Organised Crime Unit and the more information provided to us by members of the public the more we can do to rid communities of those criminals who cause pain and suffering to others.”