The detective who led the team that helped put drug-dealing pervert Arkan Hosen behind bars says Sunderland is "a safer place" now he is beginning a 21-year jail term.
The 43-year-old was jailed for a host of sexual offences against children after an undercover operation by police in the city.
Hosen was identified by officers working in Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department as a sex offender and a subsequent investigation into his activities also revealed him to be a major drug dealer on Wearside.
Undercover officers infiltrated Hosen’s organised crime group to gather evidence against him and his associates and in June, he and five other men were arrested on drug offences and remanded in custody.
Once Hosen was in custody, an investigation into his sexual abuse developed and his victims bravely came forward to police.
Because of that, specialists detectives were able to discover the full extent of his abuse after identifying four victims.
Hosen, of Derby Street, Sunderland, admitted a string of sex offences, drug offences, the possession of a firearm, an assault and perverting the course of justice. and was jailed by a for 21 years and seven months with an extended five years on licence.
Speaking after the case, Southern Area Command Chief Inspector Paul Milner said: “I am delighted with this sentence and glad that Hosen cannot cause any further harm and distress to our local community.
"Our detectives identified that he was exploiting vulnerable young girls. We targeted him and we vigorously pursued him, using all the tactics available to us, until he was remanded in custody and put before the courts.
“I am confident that Sunderland is a safer place now he is off our streets and hopefully this sentence can bring some comfort to his victims who have been subjected to a sustained period of abuse.
“Those that have spoken to police and given evidence in this trial have amazed our detectives with their bravery. Throughout the case they have shown courage and dignity and they deserve a huge amount of credit.
"We recognise that this sentence will not erase the memories of the abuse but hopefully they can begin to move on with their lives now that justice has been served.
“We will continue to do all we can to protect vulnerable people and will work with local agencies to safeguard victims of some of the most serious crimes.
“I am proud at the work being done by our hugely talented detectives to make sure that people like Hosen do not belong on our streets.”
In June, two addresses in Sunderland and one address in Leeds were raided following the undercover operation.
Six men, including Hosen, were arrested by officers and a substantial amount of drugs - including heroin, mephadrone and cannabis – were seized. Hosen was also found in possession of a firearm.
Those men were all charged and they were sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for drug offences in December 2014
They included: Jordan Graham, 24, of Robert Street, Sunderland,who was jailed for 36 months for drugs offences; Morro Ndoung, 33, of Merle Terrace, Sunderland, who was handed a 15 month suspended jail sentence for drugs offences; Alhagie Joof, 43, of North Bridge Street, Sunderland, who was handed a 12 month community order for drugs offences; Babacar Ndiaye, 48, of Foundry Lane, Leeds, who was handed a 12 month community order for drugs offences and Kyle Levitt, 25, of Hall Farm Road, Sunderland, who was handed a 24 month community order for drugs offences
Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said the sentencing was the outcome of an investigation between detectives from a number of departments.
He added: “This was a very lengthy and complex investigation that brought together officers from a number of different departments.
“Our officers are hugely talented and I am proud to say that they are among the best in the country at what they do.
“This kind of offending is what makes us come into work every day and rest assured we will continue to do all we can to vigorously pursue these type of offenders.”