NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Drugs money of £40,000 found in Aberdeen 'was for snakes'

Daniel Adams and Ian Austin
Image caption Daniel Adams, left, was caught with drugs, and Ian Austin was caught with money

A man caught with almost £40,000 of drugs money in a shoebox in Aberdeen told police he was a snake breeder and it was for pythons he had sold.

However, when Ian Austin's box was analysed, fingerprints linked him to co-accused Daniel Adams, who was caught with cannabis resin with a maximum street value of more than £300,000.

Adams was caught with 97kg of drugs on the M74 near Bothwell, Lanarkshire.

Both men admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs.

Sentence at the High Court in Glasgow was deferred.

'I breed snakes'

Adams, 24, from Aberdeen, was seen leaving a flat in September last year in the city's Balgownie Court carrying a rucksack and giving it to Austin, 38, from Liverpool, who drove off.

Austin's car was stopped and searched and £39,920 in cash was found in a shoebox inside the rucksack.

During a police interview, Austin initially told police: "I breed snakes and came from Liverpool to Aberdeen to supply a man with snakes."

He said in exchange he received the shoebox which he "assumed" contained £40,000.

Adams was caught on the M74. When the car in which he was a passenger was searched the cannabis resin was discovered.

'Covert operation'

Both men were remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this month.

Det Insp Robin Sim, from Police Scotland, said: "This was a co-ordinated covert operation between specialist teams based throughout Scotland.

"The ability to deploy specialist resources throughout Scotland means that we can successfully target those involved in the supply of illegal drugs, no matter the location.

"This successful operation has resulted in a significant quantity of illegal drugs being taken off the streets and kept away from our communities and we welcome these convictions."

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