The right-hand man in a multimillion pound conspiracy to import Class A drugs inside "frozen chicken" vans has been ordered to pay out from his ill-gotten gains.

Sohail Ali, 39, was jailed for more than 12 years in 2022 for his part in Bolton drugs boss Irtiza Bashir’s operation, which stretched across East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Now Ali has been brought back before the courts where the scale of his and Bashir’s dealings in millions of pounds worth of hard drugs imported from overseas were laid bare.

Prosecutor Neil Fryman said: “The total benefit comes to £5,607,969.64, so this comes to just over £5.6M.”

A trial held in 2022 heard how Blackburn man Ali and his boss Bashir, 46, had plotted to flood the region with Class A drugs using the Enchrochat messaging platform.

Lancashire Telegraph: Bashir's luxurious Lostock homesBashir's luxurious Lostock homes (Image: Newsquest)

Ali hid behind the name “Liquidemu” while using the platform, while Bashir was known as “Westreet".

The trial heard how Bashir, who has since been jailed for more than 20 years, was involved in supplying 537 kilogrammes of drugs with a street value of £40,740,000.

Part of their plan had been to smuggle drugs in from Holland in frozen chicken vans, while the court heard how Ali’s role had been to arrange the collection and delivery of the drugs.

Lancashire Telegraph: Irtiza Bashir was jailed for 12 yearsIrtiza Bashir was jailed for 12 years (Image: GMP)

Bashir had enjoyed a life of luxury off the back of his illegal dealings, owning two huge homes in Lostock and a Bentley, while posing as a “God fearing” businessman.

But the conspiracy came crashing down after police managed to hack into the messaging system and Bashir was arrested in December 2021.

A raid on Bashir's Lostock homes and business premises, Globe Recycling Services in Haslingden, uncovered further evidence of the wide-ranging drugs plot.

He denied his crimes but was convicted of conspiring to import cocaine and ketamine, conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis and conspiring to launder money after his trial.

Lancashire Telegraph: Sohail Ali was ordered to pay upSohail Ali was ordered to pay up (Image: North West Regional Organised Crime Unit)

Bashir, of Chorley New Road, was jailed for a total of 23 years in September 2022.

Ali, of Revidge Road, Blackburn, admitted to importing Class A drugs and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for 12 years and nine months the following October.

Speaking after the sentencings, Detective Inspector Darren Taylor from the Operations Team at the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit spoke out about the scale of Bashir’s plot.

He said: "The sentencing of these men will undoubtedly have resulted in significant disruption to the supply of Class A drugs in the North West.

He added: “Evidence retrieved from his phone also detailed his plans to import ketamine, launder money and import controlled drugs via a frozen food truck from overseas.

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"This is the latest in a long line of convictions secured against those who used the Encrochat facility to carry out crimes, to try and evade detection.”

Now more than a year on Ali was brought back before the courts for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, where he was ordered to pay a total of £26,941.50 within three months.

He will have a period in default of one year.

Mr Fryman and Syam Soni, defending, said that this was agreed between the parties.

Judge Jon Close also ordered that the drugs, paraphernalia and any mobile phones seized as part of the case be destroyed.

Bashir is expected to be brought before the courts for a separate Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at a later date.