Drug dealer living in UK illegally had Pringles tin stuffed with cocaine

Custody image of Murat Metaj
-Credit: (Image: South Wales Police)

A drug dealer who was found to be living in the UK illegally was found in possession of 16 bags of cocaine in a Pringles tin when he was stopped by police. He claimed he was going to give the drugs to "friends".

Murat Metaj, 21, was seen driving through Cardiff at around 7.15pm on May 18 and appeared to be looking at his lap. A police car signaled for him to pull over and after initially attempting to drive away he stopped in the Heath area of the city.

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Wednesday heard the defendant's English appeared to be limited but he told the officers he did not have a driving licence. As a result his keys were seized. Checks were made regarding Metaj's immigration status but as they did so he appeared to be looking at his phone and removing notifications.

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He was told to stop but failed to do so and he was detained and searched. In the car officers found a Pringles tube which contained 16 grip-seal bags containing white powder, which was later found to be cocaine. Prosecutor Emily Jermin said there was a total amount of 10.5g of cocaine, at 78% purity, and the defendant was also found with £350 in cash.

It was later discovered Metaj had been living in the UK illegally for three years. When asked what he was doing with the cocaine he claimed he was "going to give it to friends".

Metaj, of Lower Cathedral Road, later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine. The court heard he was of previous good character. As a result of his immigration status the defendant was unable to lawfully work and his barrister Tim Hartland said his client had been approached five months before his arrest and had "foolishly" agreed to deal drugs in order to earn money.

Judge Daniel Williams said Metaj had a "significant role" in selling cocaine directly to users. He sentenced the defendant to a total of two years and seven months imprisonment. A decision will be made by the Home Office on whether he will be deported.

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