Following a long and complex investigation into the murder of Tomasz Waga in Roath, Cardiff, three men have today been jailed.
Josif Nushi and Mihal Dhana have received life sentences for murder. Hysland Aliaj has been jailed for 10 years for manslaughter.
All three were found guilty following a trial at Newport Crown Court last month. They returned to court today (Tuesday, January 10) for sentencing.
The investigation, which centred around a cannabis factory, was one of the most complex and largest investigations ever undertaken by South Wales Police with enquiries across UK and Europe, including arrests being made in Albania, France, and Germany.
Detective Superintendent Mark O’Shea from South Wales Police said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Tomasz Waga who was a much-loved son, brother, father, and partner to his girlfriend.
“He was a young man who made some bad choices and was in Cardiff that day for the wrong reason, however that does not excuse what took place on January 28 2021. Events that have left a family grieving and a small baby without a father.”
During the trial in December 2022, Newport Crown Court heard that Tomasz and a second man Carl Davies had travelled to Cardiff from London on Thursday, January 28, 2021, to break into a cannabis factory at 319 Newport Road. An organised crime gang responsible for the factory were alerted, arrived at the scene and the attack took place.
Tomasz was taken from the property in a silver Mercedes, which remains outstanding, and his body was found in Westville Road, Penylan, by a member of the public at approximately 11.30pm that day. He had suffered multiple injuries.
Det Supt O’Shea added: “South Wales Police has been clear from the outset that we would get to the bottom of this complex case involving organised crime groups from south-east England and Europe.
“We have chased people across the United Kingdom and across Europe and have arrested people in Germany, France and in Albania.
“We started off by not knowing who the victim was, and who was responsible, and we have got to the position where we have presented the facts of what happened that night
“As this case highlights, international borders are no barrier to us pursuing people suspected of murder in the UK, we have excellent links with law enforcement colleagues across Europe including Albania who have been tremendously helpful throughout our investigation.”
In respect to Carl Davies, Nushi, 27, and Dhana, 29, were also found guilty of wounding with intent, and Aliaj, 31, guilty of wounding.
Nushi will serve a minimum of 20 years of his life sentence, and Dhana will serve a minimum of 16 years.
Family liaison officers continue to support the Waga family.
In a statement, they said: “No custodial sentence can ever reverse the permanent heartache and pain we feel daily as a family. After close to two years, we however have closure.
“Tomasz paid too great a price for the events that unfolded the night he lost his life.
“We do not wish for such tragedy to be experienced by any other family and urge individuals to consider the choices they make and the impact of their involvement, wilful or coerced, on their close ones.
“He will remain in our hearts forever.”
Cannabis factories are set up to intensively farm cannabis plants and produce cannabis in bulk. They are often in empty flats, houses and garages in residential areas. They are a fire risk as often the electricity meter has been bypassed and overloaded electrical circuits run close to water-filled pipes.
Det Supt O’Shea said: “People often talk of cannabis as being a victimless crime, but it’s not. Organised crime is behind many of these cannabis factories. The criminals are earning a lot of money off the back of our communities, and they protect their plantations by using violence and intimidation.
“We cannot get results without the support of our communities and if you suspect there are cannabis factories in your area, please let us know because it does have consequences and we’ll do something about it.
“The signs of this sort of activity are strange comings and goings at all hours of the day and night, young men carrying bags of fertilizer and lighting arrangements. Ask yourself the question – what is that all about?”
To learn more on how to spot the signs of a cannabis factory, visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/keeping-safe/community-family/cannabis-cultivation
You can report concerns by one of the following means:
🗪 Live Chat (9am-4pm, Mon-Fri) https://www.south-wales.police.uk/
💻 Report online https://www.south-wales.police.uk/ro/report
📧 Email email@example.com
Always call 999 in an emergency.