Chinese man sent to prison for drugs plot

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A 39-year old father-of-two was jailed today for the role he played in a “well-planned” drugs operation spanning from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

Jian Yu, from Iveagh Drive in just off Belfast’s lower Falls Road, was handed a sentence of two years and two months by Judge Geoffrey Miller QC, who said anyone who profited from the “evil trade” of drugs could expect a prison sentence.

Yu, a Chinese national, was arrested after a package containing 6.64 kilograms (about 15lb) of the Class B drug was intercepted at the Royal Mail sorting office in Belfast.

Police were called, and after the package from Glasgow was delivered to Yu’s address with a false name on July 27 last year, he and a co-accused were arrested.

Belfast Crown Court was told the herbal cannabis had a street value of between £66,400 and £132,800 and was hidden in a cushion that was then vacumm packed and parcelled.

Following the planned operation at Yu’s home, he was arrested and during interview he denied being a member of an organised Chinese gang.

He also initially said he had no knowledge of drugs, claiming he was paid £300 to allow his address to be used.

However, this claim was rejected as “self-serving” by Judge Miller, who said he believed Yu was trying to minimise his role.

He also said it was clear Yu was a trusted person and “further up the chain of command in this operation” than he claimed to be.

Yu admitted a single charge of attempting to possess cannabis with intent to supply.

Declan Quinn, representing Yu, spoke of the devastating impact his client’s offending and subsequent time on remand in prison has had on his wife and two children.

The court also heard Yu told a probation officer that he neither drank alcohol nor took drugs.

Sentencing Yu, Judge Miller said: “He played a signficant role in a well planned scheme to circulate cannabis to users and abusers in Northern Ireland.”

The father of two was informed he will spend half his sentence in prison, with the remainder on licence upon his release, by the judge, who also ordered the destruction of the drugs seized.