Shipment courier

Man says he accepted illegal shipment of cannabis to pay off $50,000 drug debt

Things went from bad to worse after the 25-year-old missed the delivery attempt and showed up at the mail sorting center in a frantic state.

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A 25-year-old British man who ran up a drug debt has been convicted after telling police the truth.

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The man then went to the local police station and pleaded guilty to importing drugs. He did not specify how much money he owed, or to whom.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with the judge noting that he was “lucky not to be placed in immediate detention”.

The cultivation and distribution of cannabis in the UK is frequently associated with organized crime.

Last year, a man who was smuggled into the UK from Albania and later arrested for his role in a cannabis operation, said he grew pot to pay off his debt to smugglers.

The police raided the crop and found around 250 plants. They also found the man alone on the property and inferred that he had been living there for several months.

The man later told police he worked in construction but was not earning enough to pay off his debt and had been moved home by the same people who had transported him to the country.

A 2020 study published by the University of Cambridge found that migrants arrested for working on cannabis cultivation are often victims of trafficking and “debt bondage”.

“Victims can be detained against their will, forced to work and unable to leave, despite an unlocked door,” said Heather Strang, lead author of the study. “Big questions remain about how the criminal justice system should ethically deal with victims of modern slavery who are also illegal immigrants involved in illegal activities,” Strang added.

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