A drug dealer caught driving in the City days before Christmas with 30 bags of cocaine and false ID documents has been jailed for more than two years.
Admir Palushi, 23, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 32 months in prison at Inner London Crown Court after admitting possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.
The court heard how Palushi was stopped on Friday 16 December shortly after 8pm while driving a grey Audi A6 in the Aldgate area. They spotted he was balancing an iPhone on his leg and hiding another mobile phone under his lap and subsequently searched the car and Palushi under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Officers discovered 30 bags of cocaine hidden in two socks and a large amount of cash concealed in the car. Despite originally claiming to be Greek, and showing officers a Greek driving license in the name of Andi Haroku, he soon admitted his nationality was actually Albanian.
He was promptly arrested for drug offences, as well as driving without insurance, thanks to insurance documents and a logbook found in the car which did not match his identity. Palushi answered no comment to all questions put to him in interview, while also telling officers that he “could not remember” where he lived.
Expert analysis of the ID documents handed to police later proved them to be fraudulent, while examination of the two phones found a total of 18 messages containing post codes and estimated times of arrival, a common approach for people buying and selling cocaine.
Along with his 32-month sentence Palushi was also handed a concurrent eight-month jail stint for holding false ID documents. He also received six penalty points for driving without insurance, while an order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs, with the car and cash also seized.
Detective Constable Vincent Baughan from the City’s police force said: “I hope this sentence acts as a warning to anyone engaged in this sort of criminality that the City is a hostile environment for them – it’s just not worth the risk.
“We have officers out on the streets to keep the Square Mile a safe place to live, work and visit. “If you’re involved in this kind of offending, we will find you, and we’ll do everything in our power to bring you before the courts.”
Palushi is the second Albanian national to be convicted of drug dealing operations in the Square Mile in a matter of weeks after Elton Qosja was sentenced to three years and deportation just before Christmas. An accomplice of Qosja, again of Albanian heritage, was also placed in the custody of immigration services following his arrest.