UK drug dealer arrested with Dublin socialite jailed for three years over €1m heroin bust
Kuldip Singh from Birmingham, but with an address at The Hollow, Spawell, Templeogue, Dublin. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
June 18 2021 05:12 PM
A UK drug dealer arrested with a Dublin socialite in a €1 million heroin bust has been jailed for three years.
Kuldip Singh (57) had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the sale of drugs in the capital on August 31, 2019.
The accused had admitted to supplying a discreet location for €961,000 worth of heroin to be stored, and to translate for a co-accused.
This man, a Turkish national, was previously jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to possession of the drugs for sale or supply.
Gardaí believe the two men had travelled to Ireland to create a link with a major west Dublin crime gang known as ‘The Family’.
Sources have told Independent.ie a man well-known in Irish social circles was suspected of transporting the men and arrested during the investigation, but never charged.
A senior source said: “This was an attempt to establish a major drug network between the UK and Dublin, but thanks to cooperation between police forces in both jurisdictions, it was dismantled before it even started.”
Dublin Circuit Court this afternoon heard evidence of the Garda operation carried out in August 2019.
Det Gda Lorraine Brennan, of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), said a number of cars had been placed under surveillance in the Liffey Valley car park.
One of the vehicles, a 4×4 carrying Kuldip Singh and the co-accused, was followed to a B&B in west Dublin before travelling on to a restaurant in Naas, Co Kildare.
Gardaí obtained a search warrant for the B&B and during a search of Singh’s room, a locked suitcase was found containing diamorphine valued at €961,576.
Detectives also discovered €9,000 in cash in zip-lock bags, electronic devices including encrypted mobile phones, and notepads in connection with their use.
The court heard that CCTV of the premises was recovered and showed the two men had been staying there a month prior to their arrest.
Det Gda Brennan agreed with Noel Devitt SC, prosecuting, that the two suspects and a cleaning lady were the only people with access to the room.
Singh was arrested and denied all knowledge of the drugs.
He claimed to have travelled to Ireland to investigate the possibility of setting up a cigarette vaping business, and to act as a translator for his co-accused.
Singh was initially charged with possession of drugs for sale and supply, and possession of an encrypted mobile device.
However, in April the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) accepted a guilty plea on one count of aiding and abetting the commission of an offence under section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1997.
Defence counsel Padraig Dwyer SC said his client had been granted bail on consent but was not able to take it up as he could not confirm an address in Ireland.
He said Singh’s mother died while he was in custody and his application to be granted bail on compassionate grounds was refused.
Mr Dwyer also said his client’s son was murdered in January 2018.
He said the incident was not linked to the drug trade and described Singh’s son as “innocent”.
Det Gda Brennan said Kuldip Singh had 17 previous convictions in the UK, of which seven were drug related.
This included a 12-year sentence in 2006 for the supply of Class A drugs, and a four-year sentence in 2012 for conspiring to supply Class B drugs.
The court heard he was on an enhanced prisoner status in custody, apart from one disciplinary issue relating to the possession of a mobile phone.
Judge Melanie Greally said aggravating factors in the case included his level of culpability, and his history of convictions for drug offences.
She said she was giving Singh credit for his guilty plea, the loss of his family members before and after the offence was committed, and that he has applied himself well in the prison system.
Judge Greally sentenced him to a term of four years imprisonment, suspended for the final 12 months, on the condition that he keep the peace for a period of one year after his release.
Singh was also told he must leave the country within 72 hours of being released, and not return to Ireland for 10 years.
June 18 2021 05:12 PM