Published: 09:26, 07 September 2019
| Updated: 21:06, 07 September 2019
A drug dealer who, claimed he had been trafficked into the UK before being forced to sell cocaine, has been jailed.
Fatjon Begu told officers he was selling 20 bags of drugs a week across Tunbridge Wells, in order to pay off a debt to other criminals.
However, an investigation proved he was not telling the truth.
Begu had been driving a Mercedes, which was stopped by officers in Nevill Terrace, back in December.
After smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle a search was carried out and officers found bags of cocaine, as well as almost £1,000 in cash.
A Romanian passport, under another person’s name, was also found before checks showed Begu was actually of Albanian descent.
The 24-year-old was arrested and told police he had been dealing in the town for around 10 days.
Begu, of no fixed address, claimed a group had brought him into the UK and were making threats for money to pay for his journey to the UK.
He said he was told to sell cocaine and insisted he made no personal profits from his crimes.
He was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possession of an identity document with improper intention, possession of cannabis and possessing criminal property.
Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, on Wednesday Septmebr 4, Begu pleaded guilty to all of the crimes, and was sentenced to three years and five months in prison.
Detective Constable Iain Joyce of West Kent crime investigation department said: "There was no evidence whatsoever to support Begu’s claims that he was being coerced or threatened to supply drugs.
"By inventing a story which made him appear to be a victim Begu clearly hoped to escape justice and although he did eventuality plead guilty he has sought to frustrate and delay the court process at every opportunity.
"Begu now he finds himself as simply another drug dealer who is behind bars.
"We work relentlessly to tackle both the misuse and supply of drugs in areas including Tunbridge Wells.
"Our officers have extensive knowledge of known users and also the criminals who attempt to operate within our communities and this is really crucial in enabling us to identify and stop people like Begu. The support we receive from residents continues to be so important, so please remember to report anything that may seem suspicious. Your help and information is invaluable."
More by this authorJess Sharp