Chef jailed for 5½ years for drug crimes

UK experts bypassed the pin code on a seized mobile phone to help Customs officers prove that a chef was importing and supplying ecstasy and cannabis in the Island, the Royal Court has head.

David Francis Omeed Safapour  Picture: STATES OF JERSEY POLICE
David Francis Omeed Safapour Picture: STATES OF JERSEY POLICE

David Francis Omeed Safapour’s conspiracy was brought down after officers intercepted a package at the Post Office containing 14g of ecstasy that was addressed to his staff accommodation at the Tree House restaurant on La Marquanderie Hill in August last year.

He was yesterday jailed for five years and six months after admitting six counts of drug-related offences, including importing and supplying MDMA and cannabis, possessing Tramadol and money-laundering.

The Royal Court’s Superior Number, which convenes only for the most serious cases, heard that the day after the package was seized, officers raided Safapour’s room and searched his car and found blister packs of Tramadol – a powerful prescription painkiller – various drug paraphernalia, evidence of cannabis ‘debris’, and bank slips.

More MDMA, which was valued at about £2,550 and was 76% pure, was also found.

Crown Advocate Richard Pedley, prosecuting, told the court that Safapour had refused to give investigators the pin code to his phone despite laughing in interview at the claim he was a drug dealer.

He told Customs officers: ‘I don’t really like giving out my stuff like my phone and passport. I’ll show you, I’ll happily show you off my phone but I don’t really like people looking into my stuff cos I haven’t done anything wrong.’

Safapour had admitted, the court was told, that he was a drug-user and said the paraphernalia found was for personal use. He said the Tramadol had been given to him by a friend to help him sleep.

But several weeks later, after the phone was sent to the UK, it was successfully unlocked by experts. Customs officers then sifted through data including 8,500 calls, contacts and messages, 24,000 images and 8,000 web searches which proved the defendant had been involved in ‘importing MDMA and cannabis and the supply of both drugs’ since arriving in the Island in February 2018.

Commissioner Sir William Bailhache said the court would give its reasons for its sentencing at a later date but stressed that after listening to all the mitigation, the court felt they had reached an appropriate sentence.

Advocate Michael Haines, defending, said his client was remorseful and acknowledged that he had played a part in the 16-month delay for proceedings to come to sentencing by not giving access to his phone or bank accounts. He said his client was responsible for four months of the delay.

Advocate Haines also said that his client’s friend had died in a motorcycle accident when he was 19 and that had had a profound effect on his life.

Jurats Suzanne Thomas, Jerry Ramsden, Charles Blampied, Kim Averty and Geoffrey Grime were sitting.

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