Emerging rap star Asco guilty of running county lines operation out of Hackney

Asfa Allen and Akwasi Kwateng. Picture: Met Police

Asfa Allen and Akwasi Kwateng. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Met Police

An emerging rap star who “could not release his grip” on running a county lines route out of Hackney is facing jail along with his partner in crime from Lower Clapton.

Asfa Allen, known by his stage name Asco, and Akwasi Kwateng, 24, of Lindisfarne Way, were found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs on Tuesday following an eight-week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court.

They will be sentenced in September, along with four others who have already pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs.

Among the four is Donovan Corbett, 22, of Lockgate Close on the River Lea towpath.

Detectives identified 32-year-old Kent man Allen as the organiser of at least four drug dealing routes out of London into the home counties, which used lower-level gang members to run the drugs from Hackney.

During the trial, the court heard that in the early hours of December 12, 2017, police executed 15 warrants across London and the home counties resulting in £25,000 in cash and half a kilo of heroin being seized.

Det Insp Dave Williams, from Specialist Crime North said: "Drug dealing is inextricably linked to the violence we have seen across the capital.

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"This result is a culmination of months of hard work and dedication focused on tackling these prolific drug dealers who would targeted vulnerable people and managed multiple drug lines for the sole purpose of financial gain."

"Allen had landed a successful and lucrative recording contract with a major label where he could have left his life of crime and violence behind, however he could not release his grip on running a county lines route and will now be spending time behind bars instead of working on his music."

All six were convicted as part of Operation Halmist, carried out by the Met's Specialist Crime North, formerly known as Trident Central Gangs Unit.

Halmist was set up to disrupt county lines operations in east London. The operation was supported by other Trident units, as well as Hackney Gangs Unit, the Territorial Support Group (TSG) and the Financial Investigation Unit.