Bradford man accused of smuggling cocaine worth £1.25m into Belfast released on bail

belfast high court
Mohammed Khan appeared at Belfast High Court.

A Yorkshireman allegedly involved in a plot to smuggle £1.25m worth of drugs into Northern Ireland is to be released from custody.

The High Court ruled Mohammed Khan, 22, is accused of providing high-purity cocaine to a lorry driver who was stopped with the haul at Larne Port.

Khan, of Salt Street in Bradford, was granted bail amid claims he has no concept of the jurisdiction detectives brought him to.

Defence barrister Declan Quinn said: “He asked if the island of Ireland moved, that’s how naïve he is about where he is.”

Khan faces a charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in connection with the seizure made on December 17 last year.

Seven kilos of cocaine, 32 kilos of cannabis, and five kilos of ketamine were found inside the cab of a lorry searched after arriving on a crossing from Scotland.

The driver, 60-year-old Donald Moore, from Forthriver Road in Belfast, is currently on bail facing charges connected to the find.

Khan was detained last month by the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit following cooperation with forces in Yorkshire and West Midlands.

The court heard he had been identified by CCTV footage and surveillance as the individual allegedly involved in an exchange with Moore at a service station on the M6 in England.

Khan took an empty bag from the cab and returned with it, heavy and full, moments later, it was claimed.

The same distinct bag was said to contain blocks of cocaine when police stopped the lorry at Larne Port.

Prosecution counsel Adrian Higgins claimed: “The Crown case is (Khan) supplied seven kilos of very high purity cocaine to the driver and it is on CCTV.”

But Mr Quinn stressed there was a 24-hour period between his client’s alleged interaction at the motorway service station and the seizure being made.

“There’s a major issue in this case… it’s by no means a slam-dunk for the prosecution,” he said.

The barrister also argued that it would be unfair if Khan was the only alleged member of the conspiracy held in custody.

Siding with those submissions, Mr Justice Shaw decided to grant bail.

“I don’t see why this man should be treated any differently,” he said.

Khan was ordered to abide by a curfew, report to local police and surrender his passport as part of his release terms.