A man arrested in England in connection with a £1.25million drugs seizure in Larne Port has told police he swallowed 100 packs of heroin, a court heard today.
Ohammed Khan, 22, is said to have made the allegations to avoid being taken to Northern Ireland to be questioned about the supply of cocaine and cannabis, a detective said.
Khan, of Salt Street, Bradford, has been remanded in custody on charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
The loot was discovered during a search of a lorry that arrived on a crossing from Scotland on December 17 last year.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard seven kilos of cocaine, 32 kilos of cannabis and five kilos of ketamine were found in the cab of the vehicle.
The driver of the truck, 60-year-old Donald Moore, of Forthriver Road in Belfast, is currently on bail and facing charges in connection with the seizure.
Khan was arrested by PSNI’s organized crime unit on Wednesday following inquiries with police in Yorkshire and West Midlands.
A detective said he was identified through CCTV footage and surveillance as the person allegedly involved in an exchange with Moore at a petrol station in England.
Khan took an empty bag from the taxi and returned with it, heavy and full, a moment later, sources said.
“When I stopped this vehicle in Larne, in this very identifiable bag were these seven blocks of cocaine,” the detective said.
On bail, she emphasized the high degree of purity of the cocaine.
“We believe this would be indicative of a person of reasonable standing within the organized crime gang that we claim is a part of,” the detective claimed.
Doubts have also been expressed that Khan would ever return to Northern Ireland if released.
“He was extremely afraid of flying and doesn’t seem to fully understand where he is,” the detective said.
“After his arrest he told officers that he had swallowed 100 packs of heroin, we believe we would avoid going into custody and coming here.”
These claims led to Khan being taken to the hospital for medical checks.
When asked if the tests showed signs of drug use, the detective replied, “He didn’t suffer any ill effects (if he swallowed anything)”.
No indication was given during cross-examination that Khan’s fingerprints were found on the drugs.
Defense attorney Declan Quinn also stressed the 24-hour time between the alleged surrender and the seizure.
He told District Judge Amanda Brady his client lives at home with a mother and disabled brother who depend on him.
“This (alleged insult) is totally out of character,” added Mr Quinn.
“The defendant is a fish out of water, he has been crying and is pointing to someone who is completely overwhelmed.”
Ms Brady declined bail, identifying a risk of re-offending.
She said: “I appreciate that he is a young man in a very difficult position and may be confused as to what is really going on.
“But that was a very significant amount of drugs.”
She sent Khan into custody to reappear on October 21 via video link.
Meanwhile, a 41-year-old man charged as part of the investigation is due to appear in the same court next month.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/courts/man-arrested-in-connection-with-125m-drug-seizure-at-larne-port-told-cops-he-swallowed-100-wraps-of-heroin-42013126.html Man arrested in connection with £1.25m drug seizure at Larne Port told cops he ‘swallowed 100 wraps of heroin’