NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Police foiled Shetland drug plot, court hears

Road to Voe
Image caption The car was stopped on the A970 at Voe

A court has heard how police foiled a drug gang's efforts to smuggle a kilogram of heroin into Shetland.

Officers found £140,000 of the drug after stopping a car at Voe on Shetland on Hogmanay.

The three men in the car had earlier been spotted acting suspiciously while waiting for the Aberdeen to Lerwick ferry.

Allan Stewart was jailed for three years and eight months after admitting being concerned in the supply of drugs.

The charge stated that the offence had been aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.

The High Court on Edinburgh was told the occupants of the Volkswagen Passat had been seen at Aberdeen ferry terminal.

When the overnight ferry docked at Lerwick the following morning, police watched the car drive off the ferry and head north on the A970.

The vehicle was tracked to Voe. Advocate depute David Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that when police moved in the driver was physically shaking and his voice was trembling when questioned.

Crime group

Back-seat passenger Allan Stewart was sitting beside a blue holdall containing two flasks which hid the heroin.

Stewart, of Maryhill, Glasgow, was said by Mr Taylor to have been well-documented on the Scottish intelligence data base in relation to the misuse of drugs, and had been acting at a very low level within an organised crime group.

Solicitor advocate Euan Cameron, defending, said this was Stewart's first and only involvement in drug trafficking but he had a history of drug abuse.

His habit had led to him running up a debt of £1,000 which he could not pay.

Mr Cameron added that about 10 days before the trip to Shetland, Stewart had been taken to a house in Maryhill and assaulted so badly he needed to go to hospital.

Threats were also made against his mother - and he was given a chance to clear the debt by driving to Shetland.

"He chose to accept that offer," said Mr Cameron. "He was unaware of the exact nature of the drugs he was transporting."

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