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Hidden packages Father-of-seven jailed for importing almost €80k of cannabis into country

Malik Boubir (46) travelled by ferry into the country in a van that was found to have packages of cannabis hidden inside a compartment in the floor behind the driver's seat

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A father-of-seven who imported almost €80,000 of cannabis into the country has been jailed for three years.

Malik Boubir (46) travelled by ferry into the country in a van that was found to have packages of cannabis hidden inside a compartment in the floor behind the driver's seat.

Boubir of Belmont Road, Liverpool, England, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to importation of cannabis at Dublin Port on October 20, 2020. He has 51 previous convictions in England, including convictions for possession of drugs with intent to supply.

Sergeant Ciaran Whelan told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, custom officers were in possession of confidential information regarding a particular van travelling by ferry from the UK.

Sgt Whelan said the van, which was being driven by Boubir, was stopped and searched. Packages containing cannabis were found in the van hidden inside a compartment in the floor behind the driver's seat.

The total value of the drugs was €79,648.

In interview with gardaí following his arrest, Boubir said he was asked to bring the drugs into the country and was to be paid €2,600. He said the van did not belong to him, that he had picked it up and that others had paid for the ferry.

Boubir told gardaí he was relying on people to tell him what to do after he had arrived in Ireland. Two mobile phones found in his possession were examined and gardaí discovered he had been receiving communications from “certain individuals” in Ireland.

Sgt Whelan agreed with Sarah-Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, that her client came across as “a nice fellow” and that the sergeant had formed the opinion Boubir could be easily led. He agreed the accused said he had a drug addiction for the last 20 years.

The garda sergeant agreed with counsel that her client's forensics were not found on the drugs and that he told gardaí he had not seen them put into the van. He agreed her client was sent on this “mission” knowing very little.

Ms O'Callaghan said her client's previous convictions are consistent with a person who has had a very significant addiction to drugs. She said her client had become homeless and gotten into debt.

Counsel said her client instructed that he was given an ultimatum that he would bring the drugs into Ireland and his debt would be cleared, otherwise he would be shot.

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Ms O'Callaghan said her client has seven children and his second grandchild would be born later this year. She said his instructions are that he is currently drug free in custody.

Judge Pauline Codd said Boubir was effectively “a drugs mule” in return for money. She said that he had made a decision to become involved in this “nefarious trade”.

Judge Codd said the case was aggravated by the value of the drugs and his previous for the sale or supply of drugs. She said she would take into account that he has been addicted for a very long time and is of “particular vulnerability”.

She noted he will be serving the sentence away from his family, but that nonetheless this was due to a choice he made to bring the drugs into the State.

Judge Codd sentenced Boubir to six years imprisonment, but suspended the final three years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he leave the country immediately upon his release from custody and not to return for 10 years.

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