Leeds crystal meth dealer ordered to hand over almost £10,000 of his ill-gotten gains

A member of a Leeds organised crime group that created a market for crystal meth in Yorkshire has been ordered to hand over almost £10,000.

By Tony Gardner
Saturday, 25th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Michael Bendo posing with wads of cash for a photo taken on Hassan Jalilian's mobile phone.
Michael Bendo posing with wads of cash for a photo taken on Hassan Jalilian's mobile phone.

Michael Bendo was part of a sophisticated drug supply conspiracy to sell crystal meth, cocaine and ecstasy worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Bendo is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence over the operation which saw crystal meth - one of the most addictive drugs in the world - imported inside children's toys from Canada.

The 23-year-old and three other gang members were jailed for a total of 31 years in April last year.Bendo, of Kirklees Garth, Farsley, was returned to Leeds Crown Court for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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Bendo is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

Ben Thomas, prosecuting, said the total value of the conspiracy was £150,000 and Bendo had benefited by £95,910.

Mr Thomas said said Bendo had £9,990 worth of assets available.

The sum was made up of cash seized by West Yorkshire Police.

Bendo was ordered to pay the amount within 28 days or face up to a further six months in prison.

During the gang's sentencing last hearing last year, the court hear how gang leader Hassan Jalilian, who attacked two police officers with CS spray, imported crystal meth hidden inside children's toys from Canada.

The gang conspired to sell drugs over four months in 2017.

Police recovered drugs valued at £61,000 along with two hunting knives and CS spray.

Jalilian had his photo taken posing topless with wads of cash and his second in command Michael Bendo also posed for the camera clutching money.

Police found a photograph of a gun and ammunition on Jalilian's mobile phone and a photo of him posing with a bottle of what he described as 'napalm.'

Jalilian had started to set up a gym as a front at Crown House on Armley Road in Armley, Leeds, where the group cut, packaged, stored and distributed drugs and where police found a hydraulic press.

Jalilian, 27, of Batter Lane, Rawdon, appeared in the dock with Bendo, Gohar Manzoor, of Low Road, Dewsbury Moor and Cheryl Scott, 45 of First Avenue, Royston, Barnsley.

Jalilian was jailed for 11-years, Bendo was jailed for eight-years, Manzoor was jailed for seven-years-and-four-months and Scott was jailed for five years.

Cheryl Scott, a lingerie designer who worked at Inspire Intimates in Harrogate, was in a relationship with Jalilian and was infatuated with him.

They lived together at Scott's previous address in Redesdale Gardens in Adel, north Leeds.

In May and June 2017 Border Force officials intercepted three packages from Toronto in Canada addressed to Jalilian at Scott's home in Redesdale Gardens.

Prosecutor Patrick Palmer said: "Each of the three parcels contained an identical children's toy. Hidden inside each toy was a foil package. Each package contained about 50g crystal meth with a purity of about 99 per cent and with a street value of £18,000."

The court heard that up until 2017 there was no market for crystal meth in Yorkshire so the group had to create one.

Mr Palmer said: "Jalilian, having seen this gap in the drug market, used his contacts and the dark web to order and import crystal meth and has used crypto currency to pay for the drug and preserve secrecy."

The court heard Jalilian, who was in charge of the operation, was a "competent chemist."

Jalilian's second in command Bendo had made "significant amounts of cash" from drug dealing.

Manzoor was a trusted member of the organised crime group and exploited the supply lines set up by Jalilian.