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Car hire boss was using vehicles to ferry cocaine around country

Vehicle hire boss Shafiq Rafiq had got into drug and gambling debts

Shafiq Ali Rafiq jailed for more than 7 years for drugs offences(Image: West Yorkshire Police)

A man on bail for drugs offences at his vehicle hire business in Dewsbury was spotted months later handing over a kilogramme of cocaine to another motorist.

Shafiq Rafiq was first arrested after police executed a search warrant on August 25, 2016, at Tick Van and Car Rental on Bretton Park Way.

Timothy Capstick, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that inside a Vauxhall Vivaro van police found a plastic tub containing two sets of digital scales and a bag containing 80 grammes of cocaine.

That cocaine was 92% pure and worth between £3,000 to £11,000, depending on how it was cut.

Also found was 770 grammes of skunk cannabis worth over £6,000 and 890 grammes of caffeine and Paracetamol which could be used as a cutting agent.

A Subaru car parked nearby had a further 25 grammes of cannabis inside while in an office small quantities of cannabis and cocaine were discovered. Mr Capstick said Rafiq also had a manbag containing £4,750 in cash.

He accepted he was a cannabis user but denied any knowledge of the drugs found saying others had access to the premises. However, when his phones were examined incoming text messages were found from people asking for drugs.

He was on bail on July 25 this year when he drove a Skoda car from Kirklees to the Scunthorpe area where he met another motorist. They were being watched when he handed over a package.

Mr Capstick said Rafiq then drove back to West Yorkshire. When the other driver was stopped the package was found to contain just over one kilogramme of cocaine, which was 80% pure. The wholesale value was £45,000, the street value £160,000.

Mohammed Nawaz, representing Rafiq, said his problems began when he started using cannabis because of difficulties in his personal life. He then moved on to cocaine and started gambling, building up debts from both.

His first involvement in drug offences was to pay off those debts and when that went wrong he was put under more serious pressure, including a car being burned outside his house, and agreed to courier the cocaine.

Rafiq, 37 of School Lane, Dewsbury, was jailed for seven years two months after admitting possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply last year and conspiracy to supply cocaine and possessing cannabis this year.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him being involved in the supply of class A drugs was a “vile and wicked crime” bringing misery to its users.

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