Drugs worth £6,500 and 'fearsome' machete seized after taxi stopped near Norwich
PUBLISHED: 14:30 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 24 April 2019
A man stopped in a taxi was carrying a drugs haul worth £6,500, while another passenger had a "fearsome" machete with a 14-inch blade hidden down his trousers, a court heard.
Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday, Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said police stopped a Toyota Prius on the A11 at Cringleford, on November 13, discovering a rucksack in the footwell that contained 396 wraps of cocaine and 255 wraps of heroin.
“It was a significant quantity of Class A drugs,” he said. “It would have been worth £6,500 in terms of street value.”
He said Mohammed Yaseen, 19, was bringing the drugs to Norwich from London in a taxi, and fellow passenger Sarko Bahmani, 21, was found to have a machete hidden down his trouser leg when searched.
Yaseen, of St Michael's Road, Bedford, admitted possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed three years and Bahmani, of Gladstone Street, Bedford, admitted a single charge of being in possession of an offensive weapon and was given six months detention.
Gavin Cowe, for Yaseen, said he came to the UK from Afghanistan after his family died in a bomb blast and was hoping to get refugee status.
“Clearly this matter will not assist him,” he said.
He said that Yaseen had got into debt and been made to bring the drugs to Norwich to pay off the money he owed.
Mr Cowe said Yaseen was putting his time to good use in jail and was taking education courses.
Jonathan Goodman, for Bahmani, said he was of previous good character and had been held on remand since his arrest in November.
Sentencing, judge Maureen Bacon told Bahmani the machete he was carrying was a “fearsome weapon” and said: “It was an awe-inspiring weapon and it would have caused fear if produced in public.”
Judge Bacon told Yaseen that he had been caught bringing drugs to Norwich, however she accepted that as a refugee he had no family to stabilise or guide him. She said: “You may well have been easy prey for others to use.”
The court heard that drugs charges against a third man, Rana Muhammed Ali, 38, of Haven Place, London, had been dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence when it emerged he had just acted as a taxi driver.