Chinese drug mule to be deported after jail sentence

A Chinese national found with more than £130,000 worth of drugs while travelling on the A1 in Berwickshire has been jailed for 20 months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Chunguo Pan, 51, was told he will be deported back to China at the expiry of his prison sentence after it emerged he had been jailed for a similar offence in Belfast in 2019.

Pan, who gave an address in Manchester, was described as "the cannon fodder" in the drugs operation and had been transporting the cannabis to Scotland, but was awaiting a telephone call on where to deliver.

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But he was stopped by police on the A1 opposite the junction to the A1107 near Eyemouth on January 12 when officers became concerned at the manner of his driving.

A search of his vehicle recovered £575 in cash and in one holdall there were 1,010g of cannabis, which if split into ounce deals would be worth £4,320.

In a suitcase there were more than 18kg of the class B drug which had a street value of £134,000 if sub-divided into ounce deals.

His lawyer told the court Pan was the “cannon fodder” of the operation and was following instructions “from those further up the chain” and all he knew was to take the drugs to Scotland and await a telephone call.

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But he accepted it was a “very foolish thing to do”, particularly as he had committed a similar offence in Belfast.

Depute fiscal Atkins said the vehicle was stopped due to the manner of Pan's driving and officers detected a strong smell of cannabis. She added that when officers spoke to him he appeared to be nervous and was receiving repeated calls on his mobile phone.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said there was no alternative to a prison sentence and as it was more than 12 months he would face automatic deportation to China.

The 20-months jail sentence was back-dated to January 13 when he was first taken into custody.