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(Clockwise from top left) Abid Hussain, Mariam Akhtar, Liam Willians, Yasrab Mahmood, and Ibrar Ashraf.Lancashire Police

A drugs gang have been caged for 40 years after cocaine, heroin and cannabis worth £3m was discovered in a Rochdale flat.

The haul of drugs were discovered in a flat owned by Abid Hussain and Mariam Akhtar in Meadowcroft Lane in August 2016 as part of the Lancashire Police-ran Operation Kellington.

The probe began looking into Ibrar Ashraf, from Blackburn, who was believed to have been distributing around 1kg of cocaine every week in the area.

They found that Ashraf was obtaining his drugs from Abid Hussain, who supplied Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.

Officers found that Hussain's uncle Yasrab Mahmood was a full time courier who worked for both Ashraf and Hussain, and raided Hussain's flat.

Akhtar and Hussain had returned from a three-night shopping trip to London where they spent thousands of pounds on designer clothes and shoes from Harrods when police arrived.

Officers had watched Mahmood, who worked as a taxi driver in Rochdale, visiting Hussain's flat and leaving with a bag that contained 116g of crack cocaine, 81.9g of cocaine and 371g of heroin. The street value of the drugs was estimated at around £40,000.

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Some of the drugs recovered by Lancashire Police.Lancashire Police

Then in a search of Hussain and Akhtar's flat with drugs and cash found in virtually every room of the flat. They found a total of 23kg of Class A drugs and nearly £164,000 in cash.

The drugs, which included cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, had a street value of around £3m.

Hussain, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two counts of converting criminal property and one count of possessing criminal property and was sentenced to 16 and a half years imprisonment.

Ashraf, 32, and Yasrab Mahmood, 46, both pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and were sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

Akhtar was given three and a half years imprisonment after she was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two counts of converting criminal property and one count of possessing criminal property.

Three other members of the gang were also sentenced including Liam Collins, 38, who had met Mahmood pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

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Cash recovered by Lancashire Police in the raid of Hussain's home.Lancashire Police

Ovil Bailey and Muhindo Hokoko, both from Leeds, purchased drugs from Hussain after he was introduced to them by Ashraf.

Bailey, 42, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class A drug with intent and Possession of a Class B drug with intent while Muhindo Hokoko, 41, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug of Class A with intent.

Both received sentences of six months suspended for 18 months and 80 hours unpaid work.

DI John Roy of Lancashire Constabulary's Serious Organised Crime Unit said: "At the top of the network was Hussain who supplied the drugs to others in the conspiracy.

"Along with his partner Akhtar, they laundered the proceeds of their illegal activity, spending large amounts of cash during a shopping trip to London before we descended on their flat and seized over £160,000 in cash."