Three men have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years for their roles in an organised crime network that saw huge quantities of drugs and cash moved between London, the Midlands and the West Country

Three men have been jailed today (1 November 2022) for a total of more than
30 years for their roles in an organised crime network that saw huge
quantities of drugs and cash moved between London, the Midlands and the
West Country.

Adil Riaz, 31, (pictured above) formerly of Grimesthorpe, Sheffield was
sentenced to 24 years for the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit
(SWROCU) investigation after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply more
than 160kg of cocaine from Sheffield to Bath-based Romaine Hyman and to
launder over £2.3 million in cash.

Romaine Hyman was at the heart of four conspiracies to supply cocaine and
heroin to the South West and launder the millions of pounds made from that
supply. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison in February.

Adil Riaz was also dealt with for two Sheffield-based cases investigated by
South Yorkshire Police – two robberies in September 2020 and firearms
offences relating to items found at an address associated with him.

Officers found a fully automatic AR-15 assault rifle, silencers, numerous
rounds of ammunition, as well as three IED hand grenades. His neighbours
had to evacuate their properties to allow the Army to safely deal with the

Bath man Tekla Selassie, 20, formerly of Eastfield Avenue, Bath, was
sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institution for his role as
‘assistant’ to Romaine Hyman
Tekla Selassie

Using the EncroChat handle ‘Youngtek’ on a phone provided by Hyman,
Selassie helped him collect and deliver drugs and cash around Bath and
Bristol. On one occasion, Hyman messaged Selassie “Yo you good…?…Cool I’m
getting the eta for all today’s jobs gonna be a busy one”. Later that day
SW ROCU officers watched as Hyman and Selassie carried three bags laden
with £540k cash to a car in Bath and collected another 7 kilos of cocaine.

Selassie also acted as a lookout for Hyman, including on the day they were
both arrested in May 2020 after taking delivery of seven kilos of cocaine
from London. Selassie cycled around Bath, slowing to check out people in
Hyman’s vicinity.

Selassie pleaded guilty to five offences.

Tobias Slender, 44, formerly of Dale Walk, Cheltenham, was sentenced to
five years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply 2kg of cocaine to
Hyman on three separate deliveries.
Tobias Slender

*DCI Charlotte Tucker from the SW ROCU said*: “This investigation has
dismantled an organised crime network that was making millions of pounds
bringing class A drugs into and out of the South West.

“To-date, seven people have been sentenced for their roles, with the
central figure, Romaine Hyman, currently serving 26 years. He had clear
ambitions to grow his empire and the messages he exchanged with Selassie –
who was just 17 at the time – showed Hyman’s clear intention to distance
himself from the day to day risky activity, training Selassie up to do that
work for him.

“The quantities of drugs and cash involved, together with the weapons
seized, show the risks this group posed to our communities – and the
sentences handed down clearly reflect that.

“It’s been a huge investigation for our teams, working closely with the
CPS, and it’s not over yet. There are more people awaiting sentencing and
trials for their roles in this criminal enterprise.”

*Ruona Iguyovwe, CPS senior specialist prosecutor, said*: ““These three men
played significant roles in a highly sophisticated criminal gang supplying
Class A drugs to the South West.

“The quantity of drugs and nature of the weapons, if not seized, would have
had a drastic impact on communities in the area.

“Following early collaboration with the police, the CPS was able to build a
strong case resulting in their conviction, disrupting a major organised
crime network and dismantling their dangerous operation.”

*DI Flanagan from South Yorkshire Police said:* “The communities of South
Yorkshire and the surrounding region are now safer due to the imprisonment
of Adil Riaz and the removal of these weapons from the hands of him and his
criminal associates. The potential harm prevented should these weapons have
been utilised cannot be underestimated.

“Riaz was part of an Organised Crime Group operating nationally, involved
in the wholesale supply of Class A drugs and associated serious
criminality. His imprisonment today should act as a deterrent to those
involved in such crimes who think they are above the law. Quite simply they
are not, South Yorkshire Police are committed to bringing such people to

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