Dealer who came to Scotland for drug drop attempted to flee with £40k cash in car

A drug dealer who tried to outrun police with more than £40,000 cash in his car has been allowed to walk free from court.

Chen Qing had travelled to Scotland to carry out a drug exchange which would lead to around seven kilos of cannabis flooding the streets. Qing, who was being monitored by a covert surveillance unit and tried to flee at speed with the profits, dodged a prison term at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Midlands-based Qing and his Dundee-based associates had no idea their entire drug drop was being monitored by detectives working from a tip-off. Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan told the court that Qing, 37, Andrew Nicoll, 42, and Graham Haggart, 38, were caught red-handed, reports the Daily Record.

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He said: "Officers were deployed on surveillance. They saw Nicoll driving his red VW Golf to Finavon Terrace and Haggart exited from the passenger side. Around two hours later Qing arrived and parked next to it. Nicoll approached Qing and a Sports Direct bag was taken round the back of the property.

"Qing drove off. Police forced entry to the property and Haggart was found within. Nicoll was at the front of the property and he was detained. A bag identical to the one seen taken from Qing's car was found. It contained multiple bags of green herbal matter. Four plants were found in Haggart's bedroom."

It contained six bags of cannabis, weighing a total of five kilos and having a potential illicit value of £10,000.

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"Qing's car was followed by a marked police vehicle and was seen to shoot into the Bullionfield filling station. He seemed to slow down as if to stop, then he accelerated and exited back onto the A90."

When he realised he was not getting away, Qing pulled in and was found to have nearly two kilos of cannabis worth £9,700, and a further bag stuffed with £41,520 cash. Nicoll, from Dundee, and Qing, from Coventry, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis in Finavon Terrace, Dundee, on 7 August 2020.

Qing, a construction worker, was placed under social work supervision for 18 months and ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid community work.

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Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: "In the course of the police investigation, a five kilo container of cannabis was recovered, which appeared to come from you. When police stopped you, they found two kilos of cannabis in your vehicle, along with £41,250 in cash. It is clear you were involved in this supply by delivering drugs and taking payments.

"This offence is worthy of a custodial sentence, but you appear as a first offender so I have to look at whether other options are available."

Nicoll was previously ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and allowed to walk free after the court was told his wife was "very disappointed" by his involvement in the enterprise. Haggart, Finavon Terrace, Dundee, admitted producing cannabis at his home and he was placed under supervision for 12 months and ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.