Restaurant boss snared in sting was ‘small player in drug chain’
Court: Accused jailed for 20 months
An Inverness restaurant manager who fled to Spain after being snared in a police drugs sting has been jailed for 20 months.
Marek Samczuk previously admitted being concerned in the supply of just over one kilo of cocaine, worth about £51,000 on the street. The class A narcotic was of 50% purity, around four times what is normally sold in the Highlands.
But following his bail release, Samczuk fled to Spain where it is believed he worked as a bodyguard for the rich.
The 42- year- old had spent almost 19 months on the Costa del Sol before he was brought back to the country in September last year on a European arrest warrant after missing a court date in February 2015. Samczuk’s defence solicitor, Graham Mann, told Sheriff Fleetwood that his client was merely a small player in a bigger supply chain.
MrMann also referred to another man caught in the sting, Andrei Balauta, who had been sentenced to 18 months after admitting the offence three years ago.
Yesterday at Inverness Sheriff Court, Samczuk appeared in handcuffs before Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood, who said: “Given what I’ve been told aboutMr Balauta my hands are to some extent tied. Idisagree withMr Mann, you andMr Balauta are equally heavily involved.”
Samczuk first appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court on petition on December 9, 2013, and was granted bail.
Fiscal depute Michelle Molley previously told the court that police had received intelligence that couriers were travelling to Inverness by bus to deliver drugs toSamczuk, formerly of Farraline Court.
A surveillance team was set up and officers saw the twomenmeetSamczukbeforeonereturned to his flat. The two couriers then booked into a guest house in Midmills Road where police were watching.
MsMolley told the court that one man was seen to dispose of a T-shirt, underwear and other items which suggested the drugs had been concealed internally.
She added Samczuk was seen to pass the guest house twice beforemeeting one of the other men outside. Samczuk was detained a short time later nearby and was found with twoPringles crisp tubs containing white pellets and a silver set of scales.
A search warrant was obtained for the guest house room used by the couriers and £3,520 in cash and 30 euros was found.
“Given what I’ve been told, my hands are to an extent tied”
JAILED: Marek Samczuk admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine