A lorry driver has admitted transporting £4.2m worth of cocaine from France to Scotland.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that 47-year-old Cameron McFarlane's lorry was stopped by Central Scotland Police on the M90 on 10 October. A search of the cab revealed 15 blocks of the drug hidden in a microwave oven and in pillows in the living accommodation behind the driver's cab. McFarlane, from Bruce Street in Alloa, will be sentenced next month.
The court was told that McFarlane claimed he was involved in the operation to transport the drugs to pay back debts.
Prosecutor Alastair Carmichael told the court that the cocaine in McFarlane's truck had a purity of about 72%.
He said that was far above the average for cocaine in Central Scotland which was generally about 10% purity.
He said: "The cocaine recovered would be cut to a similar level of purity before being sold.
"Drug squad officers place a wholesale value of £375,000 on the drugs. However if the drugs were cut to 10% purity they would have a total street value of approximately £4.2m." McFarlane admitted to the court that on several occasions between 1 January 2006 and 10 October 2008, on the M90 motorway and elsewhere, he was concerned in the supply of cocaine.
Mr Carmichael said: "The accused said he had run up debts five years ago when he was caught with 50,000 cigarettes and had been working to pay off the debt. "He said he had done this three times. On this occasion he had collected packages at a service station in France. He said he was paid between £4,000 and £5,000 for the run."
Proceeds of crime
McFarlane, a self-employed HGV driver, said the money was used to pay off the debts he owed over the tobacco which was seized. The court was told that McFarlane was sentenced to two years imprisonment by Poole Magistrates Court in 2001 for the fraudulent importation of tobacco.
Judge Lord Brailsford told McFarlane: "I will call for background reports and remand you in custody."
McFarlane, who worked for Barbour European Ltd and earned £2,000 a month, will be sentenced at the High Court in Paisley on 13 January, 2009. At the time of the seizure, Central Scotland Police hailed it as the largest ever made in the force's area. [FONT="]McFarlane will face a further court hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act in Edinburgh on 26 January.
Source - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7785550.stm