<div>Pal of convicted drug dealer who partied with Jay Slater claims ‘he’s not a murderer’ & reveals chilling former nickname</div>

Pal of convicted drug dealer who partied with Jay Slater claims ‘he’s not a murderer’ & reveals chilling former nickname

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A BRIT convicted drug dealer who partied with Jay Slater before the teen vanished is “not a murderer” and went by a different nickname before he became known as “Johnny Vegas”, a former pal has revealed.

Ayub Qassim, 31, who was one of the two people who last saw Jay Slater in Tenerife, was also once known as “Whispers” in criminal circles.


Jay Slater went missing after music festival in Tenerife[/caption]

He rented the Airbnb Jay went to using a different surname
Ayub Qassim, 31, has been revealed as Johnny Vegas
Ayub Qassim is a convicted drug dealer
Now a former pal has revealed that Qassim used to go by the nickname ‘Whispers’

Now one of his former pals, has defended Qassim and said he was not a “murderer”.

Cardiff born Rhoda Singh, 59, said she was shocked to discover Qassim was a key witness in the Jay Slater case.

She told The Mirror: “I knew him as ‘Whispers’ but it’s definitely the same person – I should know we were in court together.

“We’ve lost touch over the last couple of years but Whispers is a quiet, polite and gentle fella, he’s not a murderer or anything like that.

“He wouldn’t hurt a fly, they called him Whispers because of his quiet soft voice.”

She continued: “I haven’t heard from Whispers for a few years. He used to ring me from prison to make sure I was OK.

“I think he felt bad that I got caught up in what was going on in his life.

“I didn’t know he was in Tenerife or that he is now nicknamed Johnny Vegas, he will always be Whispers to me.”

Rhoda’s partner, retired taxi driver Les Jay, 64, remembered Qassim as “Whispers”.

He said: “I remember Whispers well, he was polite and softly spoken. He was a Londoner working in South Wales for a major drugs gang and staying around the corner from us.

“He was sofa surfing but not at our place. As I recall, he and the gang were only in our place sheltering from the rain. I came home that night to find my door kicked in and Rhoda in police custody.

“I’m not excusing him for being a drug dealer but I don’t think he would have had anything to do with the disappearance of this young lad.

“He’s more likely to help someone in trouble than harm them.”

The convicted drug dealer has insisted that he has nothing to do with the disappearance and he saw Jay leave his Airbnb “alive”.

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Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas said he tracked down Qassim and grilled him on the bizarre mystery.

Mark said: “Ayub has provided me with his account of what he says happened on that morning, Monday the 17th of June.”

The investigator describes Qassim’s version of events – including Jay’s insistence on leaving the Airbnb early that morning despite the offer of a lift.

Mark said: “Jay wanted to carry on partying and he said he had nowhere to stay.

“So he said he could come back to his.”

He claimed they got back to the Airbnb in Masca – some 11 hours walk from where Jay was supposed to stay – and said he could sleep on the sofa.

Jay was offered a blanket and a towel – and was given a cigarette by Ayub.

Mark says before the teen slept on the sofa he asked for a phone charger.

The ex-cop said: “Jay then asked for a phone charger he (Ayub) said ‘go into my friends room, he’s asleep, take his charger, and you can put your phone on charge’.

“There was no charging point by the sofa.”

He went on: “Ayub says he then goes to sleep and then he’s woken by a buzzer.

“Ayub says he comes down the stairs, Jay says to him ‘what’s that annoying noise’ which was the doorbell.

“Ayub says he opens the door and speaks to a woman and a man and they gesture that he needed to move his car.”

Jay, 19, apparently told Qassim: “I’m hungry. I need to get a scran. And the woman told me I can get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos.”

Mark says that Ayub told him “no bus is coming”, and offered to drive him after taking a nap, but the teen left anyway.

Qassim confirmed he had spoken to the Spanish authorities in Tenerife but says he was told by foreign cops not to speak to anyone else.

He insisted he has “nothing to hide” and slammed Facebook detectives for screenshotting his Instagram.

After sharing screenshots of his Instagram profile and debating about his involvement on the social media site, Qassim himself hit back.

He raged: “Why you screenshotting my insta you absolute bunch of weirdos”.

The 31-year-old also hit back at another jibe, saying: “I don’t mind being tracked down got nothing to hide”.

In an earlier statement, Qassim said: “The only comment I have to make is that Jay came to the house alive, and he left the house alive.

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 “If I’d fallen out with him would he even come to mine?”

He added: “I let the geezer stay at mine because he had nowhere else to go.

“His friends had all left him.

“I know Jay, through friends, I’m not going to bring someone back to mine if I don’t know them.

“I’m doing the geezer a favour and now my face is all over the news. It’s a bit mental. I haven’t even done anything.”

The Mysterious Case of Jay Slater

MONDAY July 8 marked three weeks since Jay Slater, a 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, vanished in Tenerife.

The apprentice bricklayer, who flew out to the popular holiday island for a rave festival with friends Lucy Law and Brad Page, has made headlines around the country.

On Sunday June 16 the three of them headed off to one of the events at Papagayo nightclub.

In the early hours of Monday 17 – Lucy and Brad were ready to head back to their hotel, but Jay wanted to keep partying.

It was then that he left the south of the island and headed to an Airbnb in the northwest with two British men.

The Sun revealed the identity of one of them – convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, who spent nine years behind bars in the UK.

For days it was thought that the second mystery man went by the name ‘Johnny Vegas’.

On Sunday former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who is out in Tenerife investigating, said Qassim told him he is in fact the man behind the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’.

We don’t yet know the identity of the second man – who remains a key part of the puzzle in Jay’s mysterious disappearance.

Qassim claims he drove Jay and the friend back to their accommodation and said they all went to sleep.

In the morning he offered to drive the teen back to the Los Cristianos resort after a nap, but Jay, hungry and tired, said he wanted to leave immediately.

Lucy, the last person to speak to Jay, claims she had a panicked call from him soon after he left the holiday let, telling her he was lost and thirsty, his phone was about to die and that he’d been cut by a cactus.

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Jay had been seen by the owner of the Airbnb that morning wandering around near the Rural de Teno park – a mountainous region close-by.

He is believed to have been attempting the 11-hour trek back to his hotel, despite the alleged offer of a lift and more buses scheduled for the day.

It was there that his phone last pinged – and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Mark Williams-Thomas has claimed he left the Airbnb quickly, and was “scared”.

Bizarrely, Qassim says he was woken up that morning by a phone call from an unnamed friend of Jay, saying he was “in a ditch” somewhere and had been “cut by a cactus”.

Jay’s friend Lucy claimed to have “tracked down” the two men in the Airbnb after he vanished – quizzing them on the morning of Jay’s disappearance.

Some reports have suggested Lucy knew the two men, although it is not clear how.

She has dubbed his disappearance “weird and suspicious”.

Both men were questioned by Spanish cops on June 17 but quickly deemed “irrelevant” to the investigation and cleared to fly back to the UK.

Police spent almost two weeks searching for Jay in the Tenerife mountains, scouring a 2,000ft ravine, before calling it off on Sunday June 30.

Jay’s family have repeatedly slammed the Spanish investigation into his bizarre disappearance.

His uncle, Glen Duncan, is convinced of “third party involvement”.

He told The Sun: “My starting position, I’ve said this from day one, ask the two men who’ve taken him – and then start from there.”

A number of unanswered questions remain, over why Jay would have travelled so far with two older men he didn’t know, why said men would have taken him in, and why he braved the Tenerife mountains with no phone battery, water or heat protection for a day-long walk. 

Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas gives an investigation update from Tenerife
Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas gives an investigation update from Tenerife
The Airbnb which Jay travelled to with Ayub Qassim
The Airbnb that Jay travelled to with Ayub Qassim
Jay's older brother Zak and dad Warren have been continuing to search the mountains in Masca in recent weeks
Jay’s brother Zak and father Warren have been searching the Masca region for any signs of Jay
Jay with brother Zak and mum Debbie Duncan
Jay pictured with mum Debbie Duncan and brother Zak
Jay was spotted partying at the NRG festival before he vanished
He was last spotted at the NRG music festival in Tenerife

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