£140k cannabis haul discovered on M6 in Cumbria | News and Star – News & Star


AN Albanian man who arrived in the UK illegally as a stowaway on the back of a truck was caught transporting a GBP140,000 cannabis haul near Carlisle. Police stopped Artur Muka’s Audi as it sped northbound on the M6 through road works close to Junction 42 on the late morning of March 19. Inside the vehicle, they found a 14kg stash of skunk cannabis which potentially would have been worth around GBP140,000 if sold to users on the street.

Muka, aged 28, made no comment when arrested but admitted possessing the class-B drug with intent to supply when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court remotely over a video link from custody. The court heard his plea of guilt was on the basis he was employed to undertake the illegal excursion as a courier. Muka’s barrister, Anthony Parkinson, said of his illegal entry into this country: “He arrived in the UK approximately 18 months ago.

He was sadly a stowaway on the back of a truck. “He moved immediately to the West Midlands where he completed some work in scaffolding and car washing. “There was a lack of work during the middle of last year, due to obvious reasons, in the building trade.

“As far as the car washing industry was concerned, as Your Honour perhaps is aware, that was closed down during the entirety of the recent lockdown,” Mr Parkinson added in his address to Recorder Ciaran Rankin. “He therefore agreed, through a friend, to be a courier of these drugs to Scotland, knowing that he would be paid, albeit the price had not been fully agreed upon beforehand.” The barrister also said Muka was confined to his prison cell for 23 hours a day due to Covid restrictions while on remand.

Recorder Rankin imposed a 16-month prison sentence which, he noted, would result in Muka’s subsequent deportation. “You worked on a cash-in-hand basis, but because of a lack of work through Covid-related restrictions you undertook to try and transport drugs to Scotland for payment,” said the judge.