Drug courier who made £170,000 ordered to hand over just £7977

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A Nigerian drug courier who was estimated to have made pounds £170,000 from crime was ordered to hand over less than £8000 in profits today.

Cletus Okpala of Wardieburn Place West, in Edinburgh, was caught ferrying high purity cocaine after the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency mounted an operation against “high level” members of an organised crime group.

Detectives received information that drugs were to be transported from Edinburgh to Glasgow and his Nissan Primera was tracked on the M8 road before being stopped near Shotts junction.

Okpala, 26, had bags of cocaine pellets stuffed in his jacket and socks. One and a half kilos of the drug was recovered but it was of such high purity that it could be cut and bulked out to provide 12 kilos with a potential street value of £482,000.

A search of his home found mobile phones and sets of notations.

Okpala was jailed for 52 months earlier this year after admitting being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug on November 4 last year.

He claimed that he agreed to make the delivery because he was in debt and maintained that he had no idea of its value.

The Crown began proceedings to strip him of any crime profits and a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh heard today that a settlement had been reached.

Advocate depute Barry Divers asked Lord Boyd of Duncansby to record Okpala’s benefit from “general criminal conduct” at £170,000 and to make a confiscation order for £7977.

Mr Divers said the latter sum was Okpala’s “realisable assets”. Okpala was given a month to pay.