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Profile: London crime boss Bekir “The Duke” Arif

By David Amoruso

London has a rich gangland history filled with “proper” villains, as they say. But when it comes to organized crime the scene has been dominated by a select group of families, often brothers. Like the notorious Kray twins and the infamous Adams Family, the Arif clan sent chills down many spines.

By 2004, British media even labeled the Arifs “Britain’s Number 1 Crime Family.”

One of the group’s leading members is Bekir “The Duke” Arif. This 62-year-old has a criminal record going back forty years. Belonging to a family involved in armed robbery, contract killing, and drug trafficking meant that Bekir quickly got his hands dirty.

In 1977 he was imprisoned for his role in an armed robbery that resulted in the death of a security guard and in 1999 he was jailed for 23 years for conspiracy to supply 100 kilos of heroin worth £12.5 million pounds. But Arif wasn’t finished and added more time behind bars in 2011 after he received eight years for his role in a major counterfeit currency operation.

In 2013 Arif was named as one of Britain's most “toxic” mob bosses out of a total of 145 gangsters selected by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Unable to point his life in a different direction – like fellow London crime boss Terry Adams is alleged to have done – Arif continued hustling and scheming. When police raided a caravan in Somerset in July of 2015 and seized 48 kilos of high-grade amphetamine that was 66 percent pure and worth up to £1.5 million pounds on the street, he knew they would come knocking one of these days.

They did.

In March of 2016 he stood in court yet again. This time he received a sentence of eleven-and-a-half years in prison for conspiring to supply amphetamines and a breach of a serious crime prevention order.

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