A British citizen who fled from an open prison in the UK and came to Ireland five years ago did not take long to set himself up in the drug-dealing business, a sentencing judge said.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin jailed Imran Aslam for five years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court after he was caught with over €34,000 worth of cannabis and over €13,000 in cash in Cork.
Imran Aslam, 38, with an address at The Avenue, Pembroke Woods, Passage West, County Cork, signed pleas of guilty to a variety of drugs offences brought against him by Garda Paul Buckley.
He admitted possession of cannabis herb and possession of this drug for sale or supply at Willowbank, Fair Hill. He further admitted possession of cannabis herb and possession of it for sale or supply at Pembroke Woods, Passage West. He also admitted money-laundering whereby he was caught with cash which was the proceeds of crime.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed the total sentence of five years on the accused at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The defendant had been in an open prison in the UK serving what remained of a sentence for aggravated burglary but he fled in 2016 and was unlawfully at large since then and living in Ireland.
“Since he came here in 2016 he seems to have rather quickly established himself in the dealing business. He had money onboard indicating someone trusted him. He had €34,000 worth of herb and €13,600 in money. He admitted the money was the proceeds of crime.
“The drugs were concealed in the house to some extent.
“When he was in jail in 2016 (in the UK) he did not really wish to stay there but he wants to go back there now. He was an addict – at least a user to a large extent,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
Emmet Boyle barrister suggested he was entirely cooperative in the course of the garda investigation. Garda Paul Buckley said the accused was cooperative but not entirely so.
Mr Boyle said the defendant’s wife and two children are living in Dubai and he has a degree in Information Technology from Leicester and has a good background.
Garda Buckley said the defendant was lone occupant of a car being driven around the Willowbank area of Fairhill in Cork after 7 p.m. on the date in question.
Gardaí approached the defendant who gave his name and his address at The Avenue in Pembroke Woods in Passage West. There was a smell of cannabis from the car.
“During the search I located a rucksack with cannabis in separate deal bags. I arrested him for having drugs for sale or supply. I cautioned him. He fled but after a short distance he was apprehended,” Garda Buckley said.
In a box on the dashboard of the car just over €12,000 in cash was found. A search warrant was obtained to search his address a search was carried out there where a much larger amount of cannabis was found together with €1,600 in cash, weighing scales and baggies.