Perth man Raymond Urquhart in court on Belgium extradition request

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A man has appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court following an extradition request from the authorities in Belgium.

The court was told Raymond Urquhart, 51, is wanted over his alleged involvement in the drugs trade.

Mr Urquhart was detained by officers from Police Scotland at his home in Perth on Wednesday.

Scottish detectives were executing a European Arrest Warrant that had been issued by their Belgian counterparts earlier in the week.

Properties in the Perthshire village of Stanley were also searched.

Prosecutors in Belgium want Mr Urquhart to stand trial on drugs charges involving cocaine and MDMA (ecstasy).

Fruit

During the short hearing, Sheriff Alistair Noble was told that European police officers had listened in to telephone conversations involving Mr Urquhart.

The Scottish lorry driver had allegedly spoken to a Belgian man, who was not named in court, about fruit.

But the officers believed they were actually discussing drugs.

The court heard that the pair allegedly spoke to each other in September 2013 about a consignment of fruit.

Two weeks later, drugs squad detectives in the Netherlands seized a large consignment of MDMA. Detectives suspect that the conversation referred to the MDMA shipment.

The court also heard that when policemen raided the Belgian man's house, they discovered a revolver and more than one kilogramme of cocaine.

Mr Urquhart, who appeared from custody, spoke only to confirm his name and to confirm that he opposed extradition.

Sheriff Noble remanded Urquhart in custody and fixed another two dates in which evidence will be led as to whether he should be extradited to Belgium.

A full hearing will take place on 31 March.

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