A man from Manchester has been jailed for over seven years for storing £1m worth of cocaine in his Newton Heath property.
Iman Chalouskri, 25, was found with 10kg of Class A drugs when officers visited his address on Mainhill Walk as part of an inquiry into a stolen motorcycle.
But during their visit police discovered a padlocked metal black box beneath the stairs – which caused Chalouskri to become argumentative and start ‘sweating profusely’.
Inside the box was a suitcase containing packages of high-grade cocaine – each accompanied by an image of the Ecuador flag.
The contents was found to amount to £1m in street value overall.
After being taken into custody, Chalouskri claimed a friend had asked him to store the box while he was away and didn’t know there were illegal drugs inside.
But videos on Chalouskri’s phone showed piles of money that appeared to be in his possession.
At the trial, Prosecution Barrister Denise Fitzpatrick called Chalouskri a ‘highly-trusted custodian’ in a drug trafficking operation.
Despite claiming ignorance to the contents of the box during his initial interview, Chalouskri pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs in December and was sentenced today (February 10) to seven years and six months in jail.
Detective Constable Terry MacMillan, of GMP’s North Manchester CID called it a “staggering case“.
“It is difficult to comprehend just how much damage these drugs would’ve done to the many people who would’ve been involved in its subsequent dissemination and consumption had police not recovered it first,” said the DC.
“Despite Chalouskri initially attempting to plead innocence in this case, it is clear once the evidence was laid bare to him that he was unable to oppose the facts and he now has a lengthy time behind bars to reflect on his offending.”