Drug dealer who fled the country jailed

27 Oct 2016 19:00 PM

Astrit Malo [View Full Size]

A drug dealer who fled the country has been jailed.

In 2013 an organised crime group involved in large scale drug supply in the North East was dismantled by police. But, one of the gang, 35-year-old Astrit Malo, who was originally from Albania, fled the country.

He was involved in couriering drugs and cash from the Midlands to the North East.

Despite Malo being out of the country for two years when he returned in 2015 police were there to arrest and charge him.

Today (Thursday, October 27)  he has been sentenced to four years and six months.

Detective Inspector Paul Waugh, who led the investigation, said: "Malo played a fundamental role in an organised crime group that was responsible for drugs supply across the North East. Despite him fleeing the country we constantly had him on our radar and made sure he paid the price for his involvement when he came back into the country."

Head of Northumbria Police's Priority and Organised Crime Team, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox, has warned organised criminals the team's work to target them is relentless.

He said: "The fact that we still caught Malo two years after he fled the country sends a clear warning to those involved in organised crime and think they can evade police - we will catch up with you eventually.

"My team are relentless in the work they do to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups and I'm proud of the work they have done to put Malo in prison despite his efforts to escape arrest."

Malo, of Timon Avenue in Bootle, pleaded not guilty but was found guilty after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court this week.

View the full news release