Scotland Yard today pledged to use modern slavery laws to crack down on gangs using children to run drugs from London to towns and cities around Britain .
Police are also working to shut down phone lines fuelling a trade estimated to be worth more than £500 million a year.
The warning to gangs came as two criminals faced jail today after being convicted under modern slavery legislation in a landmark case.
Mahad Yusuf, 20, and Fesal Mahamud, 19, both from London, were due to be sentenced after pleading guilty to trafficking a young person for the purposes of exploitation under the Modern Slavery Act and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
They lured a vulnerable 19-year-old from London to Swansea and forced her to sell drugs, threatening her with violence if she tried to escape.
The test case was brought by the Met’s Trident gang squad in a bid to get longer sentences for gangs and deter drug dealers from exploiting children.
Detective Superintendent Tim Champion said police were working on at least three further prosecutions using modern slavery legislation.
He added that the Met had also used new legislation to shut down two phone lines being used by gangs to run drugs from London to Sussex .
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