View Full Version : Drug runner used a taxi to move cannabis

18-Oct-11, 16:05
Cabbie travelled from Cardiff to Wick to collect a large consigment of cannabis

A PERTH court heard about a taxi driver’s long-distance and lucrative fare...to convey a drugs courier from Cardiff to Wick and back again, after picking up 59 kilos of cannabis in the Caithness town.
However, police intercepted the cabbie, Khizar Hayat (41) of Taff Embankment, Cardiff, and the 30-year-old drug smuggler, Jiajie He, described as a prisoner at Perth Prison, at a service station in Perth... along with two suitcases crammed with the drug, on the return journey.
The story of the Hayat’s “bizarre” fare emerged at Perth Sheriff Court, on Friday when he appeared in the dock along with He.
The pair both denied having been concerned in the supply of the Class B drug, in a number of locations in Cardiff, in the course of a journey between Cardiff and Wick, and at an address in the town's Owen Place, during a trip south to Cardiff, and in Perth, between January 22 and February 20, 2011. Hayat was found not guilty of the charge, by a jury but He was found guilty by a majority, with the timescale amended to February 19 and 20.
The court appearance was the result of lengthy and detailed operation that had seen officers target a drug gang operating in Wick. A number of Chinese nationals were believed to have been involved in the production and distribution of the drug throughout the UK. The jury of nine men and six women heard that Hayat had been paid 1000 for his 1,300 miles round trip and was left with 500 profit after expenses, for his 24-hours hire.
Police officers on surveillance duty, observed Hayat meeting He, in Wick, and driving him to a house in the town where the suitcases containing the drugs, were loaded by three other Chinese men. The cannabis weighted 59 kilos but was “damp” and when reduced to "dry, use-able cannabis bud” would have weighed 14.7 kilos with a maximum street value of 73,750.
During the trial, Hayat said he was simply hired to drive from Cardiff to Wick and back again. He denied playing any role in the drugs trade and maintained he had no idea that the suitcases contained an illegal substance.
Solicitor John Mclaughlin said: “Mr Hayat is a Pakistani taxi driver from Wales who speaks no Chinese, who had a satellite navigation system that did not work, and who got lost while travelling through Scotland. Is he really a valued gang member, or is he simply a taxi driver and was this just the worst, most ill-advised, the most bizarre fare that he has ever taken?”
The solicitor added that surveillance and lengthy police investigations only showed one instance of his client having contact with those being watched.
Sentence on He was deferred for reports.