Police say that Shamil Amin, 34, was working as a manager at two pharmacies – one in Croydon and the other in Horsham – when he began illegally selling pharmaceuticals, predominantly codeine, through a chain of supply to 26-year-old Daniel Tillyard.
Tillyard used the products he was sold by Amin to make ‘lean’, a syrup-based opioid drink made from a cocktail of substances including codeine and promethazine.
The drink – sold in 4oz and 8oz bottles – is highly addictive and is classified as a class A drug when containing morphine and a class B drug when containing codeine.
Police say that in 2020, Tillyard began dealing directly with Amin to further his aspiration of turning his lean production into a fully-fledged business, called ‘Zillaceuticals’, with the aim of being the sole supplier across London.
His aim was to create 5,000 bottles of the drug drink, which has a street value of around £250,000, say police.
During court proceedings, drug experts said that the risk of complications from digesting lean, such as respiratory problems, organ damage and even death, were higher with Tillyard’s products, as he often replaced the base ingredient of codeine with morphine.
Detectives came across text messages between Tillyard and Amin discussing their drug deals during a separate investigation into drug supply in Surrey.
They were both arrested in May last year, when a search of Tillyard’s phone also found that he had previously supplied more than 2,000 ecstasy pills and offered a ‘menu’ of over a dozen different drugs.
During a warrant at his home, over 2kg of cannabis was also seized from his bedroom.
Amin, of Copse Hill, Croydon, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (May 17), after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs.
Tillyard, of Victoria Park Square in Tower Hamlets, was sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to six counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, four counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs and two counts of conspiracy to supply class C drugs.
Detective Constable Philip Potter, who investigated the case, said after the hearing: “This was a large-scale plot by Tillyard, who aspired to be a big-time drug dealer in London.
“The fact that he is now behind bars mean that his aspiration has not become a reality.
"Thanks to the hard work of officers and detectives, Tillyard’s plot to produce and supply lean, facilitated by Amin, has been stopped in its tracks.
“Drug dealing blights communities and exploits the vulnerable, which is why we work tirelessly to stop it from taking place.”