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Naveen Sagar, lawyer jailed for helping members of a criminal drug gang escape justice


NRI lawyer, jailed 14.5 years for helping criminals and drug gang

Wembley, London, December 05, 2007
Satish Malhotra

NRI Naveen Sagar, 32, from Wembley, a corrupt solicitor who helped members of a drugs gang escape justice, has been jailed for fourteen and a half years. He made millions of pounds through selling heroin and used firearms. He laundered drug money, orchestrated false defences and supplied bogus witnesses to help major criminals to evade justice. He was involved directly in fraud and burglary and was suspected of trying to derail an Old Bailey murder case after police found a picture of the trial jury on his mobile phone.

He wears designer suits, driving a Porsche 911 and buying a portfolio of properties – until Ahmed Osman Hersi, a Somali-born drug dealer, gave evidence against his former solicitor and other criminal associates in an attempt to earn a lighter sentence for himself. After his arrest in February last year, a search of the home he shared with his parents revealed £75,000 under a bed.

Ahmed Osman Hersi:

Ahmed Hersi, 29, arrived in the UK as a as a refugee in 1983 from Somali and took asylum in 1985. He had served a jail sentence for car jacking
Police said his network primarily operated from the Southall area, but during their investigations they seized drugs and guns in Hackney, Leicester Square, and Shepherds Bush. After a three-year investigation by the serious and organized crime division at Scotland Yard. Detectives admit that they are unlikely to trace millions of pounds that have been transferred to offshore accounts. His gang controlled a large part of the drug trade in London, it was a multi-million-pound business.

In October 2004, Hersi was arrested after becoming involved in a road-rage incident with a bus driver. In the boot of his Mercedes, officers found £32,000 in cash. He called Sagar, who arrived at a police station with a prepared defence and a witness who claimed that the cash belonged to him. Although inquiries showed the notes to be coated with heroin, police were forced to return the money to Hersi.

Sagar, received £5,000 for his part in the deception. His witness, Muhammad Azam, was paid £7,000.

In January 2005, Hersi and three other men buying and selling firearms in Hackney, the police follow but the men escaped despite crashing their Porsche.Three men were arrested at later dates and were jailed after Hersi gave evidence against them.

In April 2005, the guns were recovered from the boot of a chauffeur-driven Mercedes of Hersi.

Sagar was arrested in February, 2006:

In February, 2006, the police arrested Hersi after raid and found £29,000 cash. Again he called Sagar, who produced Azam with another claim that he had legal entitle-ment to the cash.

Later Azam told that the money was impregnated with traces of heroin, he admitted to police that he had agreed to help Sagar to provide false defences for Hersi. Another witness also told the same story

  • Sagar was arrested in a police raid and police found £85,000 in cash under his bed.
  • Police found an emergency services' radio scanner tuned into police channels.
  • Police also found series of recordings of interviews with a witness that had been doctored to create the impression that officers were acting in a corrupt manner.
  • Police have obtained an order to confiscate assets valued at more than £1 million.

Sagar’s firm, Mehra & Co, was shown to have been defrauding legal aid fees by setting up a bogus interpreters agency. The firm has closed down and his partner has received a suspended jail term for fraud. Sagar’s practising certificate has been withdrawn.

  • He admitted two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, attempting to pervert the course of justice and two counts of fraud and was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court
  • He has also pleaded guilty to contempt of court with intent over the jury picture while a burglary committed on his parents' shop was also taken into consideration.
  • He was arrested as part of Operation Pauldings, an inquiry launched nearly three years ago by the Central Task Force of the Metropolitan Police Serious and Organized Crime Command. There were 35 arrests and nine convictions with seizures including four kilos of heroin, 280 rocks of crack cocaine, two Mac10 machine guns, five semi-automatic handguns, one revolver and 67 rounds of ammunition. Police have also seized £300,000 in cash.
  • Two gang members have already been sentenced to 18 years in prison each after being found guilty of firearms offences.

Judge Fergus Mitchell said: "The public on the whole trust solicitors as do others in professional positions such as other lawyers and police. "You undoubtedly contributed to a reduction in that confidence."

Judge Mitchell read out comments Hersi made about Sagar in which he said: "Everybody knew he was a crooked solicitor. They said he will help you out and get you off a case."

Hersi, of Saxon Road, Southall, west London will be sentenced on Thursday at the same court.

This was highly organized criminal network that involved serious drug trafficking and firearms offences right across London





Naveen Sagar

Naveen Sagar, lawyer jailed for helping members of a criminal drug gang escape justice

  • According to police, Sagar is "very intelligent and astute" but also an "arrogant and cocky" person who believed he was "untouchable". He came from a respected Indian business family.