Three men convicted for running drugs factory in Acton

Image above: Roshan Valentine, Allen Valentine, Krunal Patel

Men were selling pharmaceutical drugs on the dark web

Three men have been convicted for running a large-scale drugs factory in Acton.

Allen Valentine, Roshan Valentine (Allen’s son), and Krunal Patel were involved in producing and selling Benzodiazepines, a type of sedative classified as a Class C drug. They operated under the guise of a company called Puzzle Logistics Limited and made illicit profits of at least £3.5 million.

The investigation was led by the Met Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, following intelligence received from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States about the men selling pharmaceutical drugs on the dark web. The detectives began the investigation in January 2022 and discovered that the three men were regularly visiting a warehouse unit in Acton Business Park. This warehouse was used for the production, packaging, and supply of the drugs.

The investigation involved specialist cyber tactics to gather evidence, and the Cyber Crime Unit had detailed knowledge of the dark web and training in cryptocurrency. Users would purchase the drugs on the dark web and pay in cryptocurrency, which were then delivered through the mail.

On August 17, 2022, Krunal Patel was arrested near the warehouse with 15 parcels labeled for posting to addresses across the UK. These parcels contained tablets imprinted with the brand names ‘Xanax’ and ‘Teva,’ which are licensed medicines within the Benzodiazepine group. Roshan and Allen Valentine were arrested later that same day.

Image above: the lab inside the Acton Warehouse, tools used to make pills

Various class C drugs seized

During the search of the warehouse, a concealed laboratory was found, along with a significant amount of equipment, chemical substances, and crates of pills manufactured on-site. The pills were analysed and found to contain various Class C drugs from the Benzodiazepine group, including Deschloroetizolam, Flubromazepam, Bromazolam, and Flualprazolam.

Allen Valentine claimed to be a doctor with qualifications in pharmacy, and ongoing inquiries are being conducted to verify his claims.

The three men were charged with conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and money laundering offences. Krunal Patel and Roshan Valentine pleaded guilty to the charges, while Allen Valentine pleaded not guilty but was found guilty after a trial.

The sentencing for the convicted men is yet to be determined, and a confiscation hearing will take place to obtain their illegal profits legally.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance leads the Cyber Crime Unit, she said:

“Our specialist Cyber Crime Unit are experts at infiltrating the sale of illegal items on the dark web. We work collaboratively with International Law Enforcement partners to ensure operations like this are stopped in their tracks.”