Dublin man caught holding €300k of ketamine ‘to pay off failed business debt’ is jailed
Dawood Aziz (37) told gardaí he became involved as a way of clearing that debt he had accrued due to a failed business venture
A man who said he was holding a large amount of ketamine in order to pay off a debt he had run up because of a failed business venture has been jailed.
Dawood Aziz (37) of Valley Drive, Druid Valley, Cabinteely, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of €300,360 worth of ketamine and possession of a mobile phone for use in connection with a drug trafficking offence at Robinhood Industrial Estate, Dublin 22, on November 10, 2020.
Detective Garda Eamonn Tighe told Brian Storan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí had “confidential information particular to the accused” and set up a surveillance operation during which Aziz was spotted moving items from a premises to his van.
Gardaí moved in and searched the van and found just over €300,000 worth of ketamine in the vehicle. Aziz was arrested and accepted possession of the drugs. He said that someone had just dropped it off to him.
He told gardaí that he was in debt at the time due to a failed business venture and he became involved as a way of clearing that debt.
Judge Melanie Greally noted that Aziz has a previous conviction for possession of cannabis for sale or supply.
Michael Bowman SC, defending, replied that his client maintains that the drugs in that instance – approximately 200g of cannabis – were for his own personal use and he intended to “smoke his way through that”.
“Perhaps his drug habits...provide an alternative explanation for his failing business,” Judge Greally commented. Mr Bowman said that his client certainly “bit off more than he could chew” when it came to managing the business.
Det Gda Tighe agreed with Mr Bowman that his client came from a very hard working and decent immigrant family who had built up a successful catering business.
He accepted that Aziz “struck out of his own” but quickly ran into quite substantial debt and that “others took advantage of this”. Det Gda Tighe agreed that the encrypted mobile phone Aziz was caught with is often provided by “individuals” in the drug industry to maintain secrecy.
“Yes, these phones are given out to people on a certain level, to avoid detection,” the detective said.
Judge Greally noted a number of mitigating factors including the guilty pleas, a good history of employment and the support of Aziz's very pro-social family. She said she also noted charitable work carried out by the offender.
She suspended the final 18 months of a five year sentence on conditions, including that he engage with addiction services and remain under Probation Service supervision for 12 months.
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