Drug dealing inmate who ran criminal enterprise from prison jailed for further 25 years

Darryl Tawiah has been jailed for a further 25 years
Darryl Tawiah has been jailed for a further 25 years
National Crime Agency
Mark White

By Mark White

Published: 20/04/2022

- 15:40

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:22

A convicted drug dealer who continued to run his criminal enterprise from prison has been jailed for a further 25 years

Darryl Tawiah, 42, from Southwark in south London, was already serving an 18-year sentence for drugs supply and firearms offences when he was arrested and charged by National Crime Agency officers last year.

He has now been convicted alongside associates, who helped him fix deals on the outside and launder the profits.

Tawiah frequently used phones in prison to contact a Netherlands-based drug supplier, who himself had previously been convicted for importing cocaine after an NCA investigation.

Following his early release from prison, the Dutch drugs trafficker was deported to the Netherlands and became the subject of a separate Dutch investigation.

Conversations captured between the two showed Tawiah was sourcing Class A drugs wholesale and arranging their onward distribution and sale.

Working with people within the UK and the Netherlands, Tawiah’s organised crime group is believed to have been behind at least two tonnes of Class A drugs imported into the UK and then sold across London and the South East.

Darryl Tawiah
Darryl Tawiah
National Crime Agency

In one recorded conversation, the Dutch supplier told Tawiah: “I want you to move 50 kilos a week, don’t talk to me about one.”

Tawiah replied: “No problem bro.. now that it is good, everybody is calling.. I need to get more money in.”

Further conversations showed Tawiah talking about buying cocaine at bulk prices.

He also said he had a desire to sell ‘coffee’ when he left prison, which is slang for heroin.

He also asked the supplier if he had ever heard of “2C” because “everybody’s asking for it in the West End, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Chelsea…”.

The National Crime Agency said 2C was a reference to liquid GHB, which has been used in instances of ‘date rape’.

Tawiah worked with a number of people on the outside, including Steven Johnson, 37, from London.

He took delivery of the drugs on Tawiah’s instructions and distributed them across the Capital.

Rosemond Agyemang, 59, was a courier handling the financial side of the operation.

Still image of one of the cash handovers
Still image of one of the cash handovers
National Crime Agency

She helped to launder money through bank accounts. She also made various cash payments to the Dutch supplier’s people in the UK.

She was arrested outside Oval station in London in July 2019 and was found to be carrying thousands in cash at the time.

She had been on her way to meet Dorian Vaciulis, a 34-year-old from Feltham, London, who was working for the Dutch supplier and responsible for collecting both cash and drugs.

He was in regular contact with co-conspirator Ali Reza Shokrolahi.

Shokrolahi, 41, also from London, was operating as a lorry driver for the organised crime group and was linked to at least 30 kilograms of cocaine seized at the UK border.

Tawiah, Vaciulis, Johnson, Agyemang and other alleged co-conspirators were arrested in March last year and were charged with various offences relating to Class A drugs and money laundering.

As the investigation continued, a further man was identified and arrested for his links to the group.

Faisal Guled, 34, a Dutch national living in Camden, London, worked for the Dutch supplier and was operating a county line selling drugs across London and Northampton.

Today at Wood Green Crown Court, Tawiah, Johnson, Vaciulis and Guled were sentenced collectively to 70 years in prison after pleading guilty following an earlier hearing.

Agyemang was given a one year sentence at the same court last year.

Shokrolahi absconded while on bail and was not present at the hearing.

Jason Hulme, Operations Manager at the NCA, said: “This three-year investigation took apart an established criminal enterprise which had imported tonnes of cocaine to the UK, where its trade fuels addiction, violence and exploitation.

“Tawiah operated a network outside that did his dirty work for him, with all taking a slice of the profits.

“One of the men sentenced today remains wanted. We would appeal to anyone who thinks they may have information on the whereabouts of Ali Reza Shokrolahi to contact the NCA directly on 0370 496 7622 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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