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Drug dealer made to pay £48,000 after taking picture with drugs and wads of cash

Rhiannon Ingle

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Drug dealer made to pay £48,000 after taking picture with drugs and wads of cash

A drug dealer has been made to pay back a whopping £48,000 after posing with drugs and stacks of cash.

Mark Wainfur from Newport,Wales, posed for pictures that showed him squatting in front of cannabis plants, taking selfies holding up a wad of cash to his ear and showing off countless designer clothes and Rolex watches.

Wainfur, 33, first went to prison for over three years back in July 2018 after being caught dealing drugs.

But upon being released, the 33-year-old got hold of an encrypted EncroChat phone - a modified smartphone allowing encrypted communication among users - to begin selling drugs again

Mark Wainfur has been made to repay nearly £50k after posing with drugs and money. Credit: Wales News Service
Mark Wainfur has been made to repay nearly £50k after posing with drugs and money. Credit: Wales News Service

It was the photos and the use of the EncroChat phone that aided in his arrest after authorities were able to attach him to a larger drug network in September last year.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said: "Law enforcement activity was unable to identify users of a secure messaging platform commonly known as EncroChat, where users would pay €850 for a contract.

"These phones have few of the customary features other than messages, calls and photographs.

"Users are allocated a handle and a unique pin number, and they use those details to contact each other.

While under the impression that using the EncroChat phone would conceal his identity - police were finally able to decipher encrypted codes, leading to Wainfur's arrest on 15 September, 2021.

The 33-year-old used an EncroChat phone to conduct his illegal business. Credit: Credit: Wales News Service
The 33-year-old used an EncroChat phone to conduct his illegal business. Credit: Credit: Wales News Service

When police raided his home in Newport, Gwent, they discovered Rolex watches and gold jewellery worth £170,000.

Newport Crown Court heard how Waifur sold an estimated 15.5kg kilograms of cocaine and 5kg of heroin in just two months.

The father-of-one admitted to two charges of supplying class A drugs at Newport Crown Court and was sentenced twelve years behind bars.

After making another appearance in court last Friday (9 September) for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, it was confirmed the 33-year-old made a massive £1,124,035.

The court ordered that Wainfur was to repay £48,952 and, if he fails to do so, will face yet another year in prison.

Wainfur could face another year in jail if he doesn't repay the money. Credit: Wales News Service
Wainfur could face another year in jail if he doesn't repay the money. Credit: Wales News Service

Judge Timothy Petts explained to Wainfur the heavy effect that drugs have on wider society, saying: "Drugs are a scourge to society and cause considerable damage to many parts of the country.

"You organised and were involved in selling on a commercial scale and received substantial financial advantage."

Wainfur's defence team, Gareth Williams, stated: "He is someone who has made mistakes in his life and he will now face a very severe penalty for continuing with his offending behaviour."

Speaking after the sentence, Ian Bartholomew, Detective Inspector, dubbed Wainfur 'an established and prolific drug supplier' before noting how he 'thought he was untouchable'.

Wainfur laundered the money to buy jewellery worth in excess of £200,000. Credit: Wales News Service
Wainfur laundered the money to buy jewellery worth in excess of £200,000. Credit: Wales News Service

Bartholomew continued to address the social fallout from Wainfur's criminal activity: "He profited from an illegal trade that often leads to other forms of criminal activity and can cause harm and misery within our communities."

The Detective Inspector also outlined how Wainfur's use of the EncroChat phone assisted him in trafficking "more than 20 kilograms of cocaine and heroin into Gwent and laundering significant quantities of cash to buy jewellery worth in excess of £200,000."

"A dedicated team of detectives at Gwent Police has focused on pursuing individuals, like Wainfur, who have used bespoke encrypted mobile devices to conduct their illegal activities at the highest level of serious and organised crime," Bartholomew concluded.

Featured Image Credit: Wales News Service

Topics: Drugs, UK News, Crime

Rhiannon Ingle
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