Flash jet-setting drug boss who owns a Banksy and Bentley begs for jail release

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    A Brit drug lord who hid his criminal empire behind a luxury playboy lifestyle, has failed in his desperate bid to be released from jail.

    Aram Sheibani, 43, from Greater Manchester, was sentenced to 37 years in prison in June 2021 for his part in a high-level cocaine conspiracy that lasted nearly 10 years. Sheibani, from Bowdon, Trafford, used money from fraud and drugs to build up a £5m property portfolio, which included a swanky £1.74 million flat in Kensington, London. He had Banksy and Andy Warhol artwork, travelled the globe, drove fancy cars like a Bentley and a Porsche, all while pretending to be a legitimate businessman.

    According to the Manchester Evening News, Cops also discovered he had over £1m in cash, cryptocurrency worth £1.3m, original artwork from Banksy and Andy Warhol, and that he'd splashed out on cosmetic surgery including veneers, hair transplants and a nose job. A judge slammed Sheibani, saying his "greed knew no boundaries" and that he was satisfied Sheibani was "at the very head of a large-scale, international drugs conspiracy" and was "very close to the very source of production in Colombia".

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    Despite Sheibani's claims that his wealth came from legitimate sources, jurors took just five hours to convict him of 20 fraud, money laundering and drug offences after an eight-week trial. Earlier this week, the Court of Appeal in London heard a renewed appeal against both his conviction and sentence.

    Sheibani's barrister labelled the evidence of drug dealing against him as "circumstantial", arguing his conviction was unsafe. He also said there was "no evidential basis" for the lengthy sentence. Simon Csoka KC, representing Sheibani, argued that it "was not a case where there was an identified conspiracy".

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    He claimed his client wasn't given a chance to bid to have the charges dismissed, adding that "evidence that related to drug dealing was put forward into what might be termed a Frankenstein conspiracy" consisting of parts of more than one "conspiracy".

    "Where is the evidence that this was a single conspiracy as against a number of conspiracies?," he questioned.

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    He added that for a conviction, the jury must be certain Sheibani was guilty of the offence as outlined in the indictment and that they are 'considering the same conspiracy together.' He claimed the judge had 'not directed the jury about that issue.'

    Both appeals were thrown out by a panel of three judges. Lady Justice Macur said the full reasons for their decision would be published in writing in due course.

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    "That is the end of the matter as far as this court is concerned unless anyone finds other evidence to put before the CCRC (Criminal Cases Review Commission)," she said.

    Sergeant Lucy Pearson, from GMP's Economic Crime Unit, described Sheibani as a "calculated, deceitful and scheming criminal" after his sentencing.

    She said: "He is a dishonest individual who has not shown any remorse for his actions throughout this entire investigation, refusing to cooperate with police and attempting to destroy evidence.

    "The extent of Sheibani's criminality should not be underestimated; not only is he involved in tax evasion and money laundering which has a detrimental effect on the economy and society, resulting in honest taxpayers feeling that burden, but the source of his tainted income is as a result of a class A drugs conspiracy."

    * This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

    • Banksy
    • Crime
    • money
    • Drugs
    • London

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