Friday 15 December 2017

'Stud badboy' shot by UK police, once charged with attempted murder, used fast cars to launder profits from his drugs empire

Mohammed Yasser Yaqub. Picture: Facebook
Mohammed Yasser Yaqub. Picture: Facebook

Nicola Harley

A self-proclaimed "stud badboy", drugs kingpin Mohammed Yasser Yaqub enjoyed fast cars and lived life on the edge.

Having previously being acquitted of attempted murder and surviving being shot last year, the 28-year-old drug dealer was killed by police marksmen on Monday in a "pre-planned operation".

Described as a "major drugs baron", he laundered the profits from his drugs empire through his sale of high-performance cars after running an illegal smuggling ring by using drones to send Class A drugs into HMP Armley in Leeds.

The 28-year-old, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was this week shot by police at junction 24 of the M62 near Huddersfield, after they received a tip-off that he was armed and carrying a gun in the silver Audi he was driving.

Riot police were called on Tuesday after more than 100 people blocked roads in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in protest against his death.

It has led his family and Bradford West MP Naz Shah, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, to appeal for calm.

Man killed during a
Man killed during a "pre-planned" swoop on a car
At the scene a silver Audi had bullet holes in its windscreen and bonnet
The dead man's identity has not been released and police are yet to confirm any further details about the operation.

"I recognise that tensions are running high within communities. The local police also understand the heightened tension that the events over the past 24 hours have caused within our communities and the need to provide reassurance," she said.

"I urge our community to remain calm and respect the wishes of the family who have lost their loved one and have appealed for calm and privacy during this very difficult time."

On Tuesday evening police were deployed in central Bradford after protesters carrying banners reading "Police don't murder" brought traffic to a standstill.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was "working hard" to establish the circumstances around the father-of-two's death after what appeared to be a gun was recovered by investigators from the car he was travelling in.

Chris Bean described Yasser as a "formidable gangster"

"Yasser is horrible. I've been through hell and back with him," he said.

"I've seen people saying he's a nice guy – but he was a heroin and crack dealer and was just a major playing in Huddersfield for drugs.

"He managed to afford his Lambo [Lamborghini] by laundering money.

"Yasser used to buy high powered sports cars and sell them on for profit - all funded by drug money.

"He had it [West Yorkshire] all locked down and would fly drugs into HMP Leeds at Armley with drones and make 10 times what he was making on the outside."

The family of Mr Yaqub, of Huddersfield, where his father is a well-known businessman, said they were "in shock" and "distraught" but did not want to comment further.

His friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to him.

West Yorkshire Police said a "spontaneous protest" began in central Bradford at around 7.15pm on Tuesday evening and officers were deployed "to facilitate a peaceful protest and to provide public reassurance".

The IPCC said a post-mortem examination on Mr Yaqub's body is due to take place on Wednesday and its investigators are continuing to seek any relevant CCTV footage.

West Yorkshire Police said their operation, which included stopping another car near Bradford, "related to information received about criminal possession of a firearm" and was not terror-related.

Five people were arrested across the two vehicle stops – three in Huddersfield and two in Bradford – and remain in custody.

In 2010, Mr Yaqub was cleared of attempted murder and a firearms offence after it was alleged that he opened fire on two men in a car in Huddersfield.

People living close to his home said that Mr Yaqub's house was targeted by gunmen more than a year ago and is now covered by 10 CCTV cameras.

In June 2015, police said two people suffered minor injuries when a shotgun was fired in Rudding Street by balaclava-clad gunmen in a "targeted attack" as children played.

Nadeem Murtuja, chairman of the human rights and racial justice campaign group Just Yorkshire, said: "There is a great deal of disquiet in the community about the death of Mr Yaqub and it is crucial that both his family and the Huddersfield community are kept informed about the conduct of the investigation and the events that led to the fatal shooting."

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