"using a taxi as a guise for his dealing"
Azar Iqbal Rehman, aged 51, of Bradford, was jailed for three years after he used a taxi licence to conceal Class A drug dealing.
York Crown Court heard that officers from North Yorkshire Police’s proactive county lines team, Operation Expedite, conducted patrols in Harrogate on the evening of December 12, 2019.
They noticed a taxi in an Asda car park on Bower Road.
It was parked suspiciously far away from the supermarket entrance and away from the other vehicles.
The taxi remained stationary. Officers then approached it and engaged the driver, Rehman, in conversation.
The officers felt Rehman was being obstructive so attempted to remove the keys from the ignition.
Rehman then tried to drive off but was promptly brought to a stop and arrested.
A search of the vehicle revealed a number of bags of cocaine and MDMA ready for supply as well as quantities of cash.
Rehman then admitted he had large amounts of Class A drugs at his home in Bradford.
Over the course of the investigation, it became clear that Rehman had been transporting Class A drugs to addresses in Harrogate for several months which he claimed was under duress due to financial struggles.
Further investigation into Rehman’s finances revealed property assets in both the UK and abroad.
The drugs found in his car and at his home totalled more than £17,000 in street value.
Rehman pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.
North Yorkshire Police Detective Sergeant Marcus Dawson is part of the force’s proactive drugs team, Operation Expedite. He said:
“The judge in court commented on Rehman’s calculated behaviour in using a taxi as a guise for his dealing and the serious, damaging impact drugs have on our local communities.
“Rehman’s arrest and successful prosecution is a great example of the vital role proactive policing plays in cracking down on drug dealing activity.
“The instincts of the two officers who sensed something was not right about his presence in that car park have resulted in another drug dealer being taken off the streets of North Yorkshire and another county line being disrupted.
“Every piece of intelligence we can collect is key in our investigations so I’d urge anyone who spots something or someone who seems out of place to report this to the police.
“Our officers patrol as much of our towns, villages and streets as they can, but the public are our eyes and ears and we could not do our jobs without them.”
Rehman was jailed for three years.