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Gardener stopped with almost 10kg of vacuum-packed cannabis in car boot


A gardener has been jailed after police pulled his car over and caught him with almost 10kg of cannabis stored in the boot. Rafal Smaga, 44, was discovered in possession of the huge haul of vacuum-packed drugs – worth up to £161,500 – contained in two cardboard boxes. The married father said he had been asked to transport the packages across Aberdeen.

But he claimed to believe it was steroids rather than cannabis, despite either being a criminal offence. Police stopped Smaga on Aberdeen’s Great Southern Road after receiving intelligence that the vehicle was linked with drug dealing. Fiscal depute Dylan Middleton told the incident happened around 2.

30pm on October 28 last year. ’10 visually similar packages’ seized Mr Middleton said police had been tipped off that Smaga’s car “was being used to transport controlled drugs to Aberdeen” and pulled the vehicle over. Smaga was found to be the driver and sole occupant.

He was detained for a search and police discovered two cardboard boxes in the car boot. “The cardboard boxes were found to contain 10 visually similar packages of flowering material,” Mr Middleton explained. He added: “Three of the quantities of vegetable substance were selected for analysis.

“The average weight of the packages was 970g and the substance was found to be cannabis. ” ‘He was under the impression he was transporting steroids’ The court heard that, if sold in kilogram deals, the packages would be worth up to £60,000 combined. However, if broken down into smaller 1.

5g deals, the drugs could sell for a total of £161,500. Smaga, of North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis. His defence agent Shane Campbell said his client had come to Aberdeen for financial reasons after his business ran into difficulties back home in Poland.

A friend had offered to give Smaga work as a gardener, painter and decorator. Smaga accepted the offer and moved to Aberdeen with the intention of staying for around six months to work, before returning to his wife and son in Poland. Mr Campbell said: “He was effectively asked by a friend of a friend to transport these two boxes from A to B.

“He was under the impression that what he was transporting was a substantial quantity of steroids. ” The solicitor added that Smaga had never been in trouble before, either in the UK or in Poland. ‘Your involvement in the chain of supply was at a low level’ Sheriff Andrew Miller told Smaga: “There is no doubt that the offence to which you have pled guilty is very serious.

“Almost 10kg of cannabis was being transported in the car driven by you when it was stopped by the police. “On the other hand, I take account of the fact it seems your involvement in the chain of supply was at a low level. “This was a very, very significant quantity of drugs you were driving around the streets of Aberdeen and which was clearly destined for supply to drug users in this part of the country.

“The courts often comment on the harm that controlled drugs cause in our communities, and that’s only possible because individuals such as you agree to become involved in activities that contribute to the chain of supply. “I’m afraid the only appropriate sentence is the imposition of a period of imprisonment. ” The sheriff jailed Smaga for 18 months.


From: pressandjournal

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