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Op Viking: Albanian drug dealer who pretended to be Portuguese jailed

11 Aug, 2017 12:07 News Behind Bars

An Albanian drug dealer twice tried to get away with being a Portuguese national was caught out because he didn’t understand the language when challenged by Surrey Police officers on a proactive patrol.

The case is the latest to come to court as part of Operation Viking which is the Force’s dedicated team that has been working since before Christmas 2016 to crackdown on cross border drug dealers.

Artinis Hajdarmataj was first stopped on May 3 at 2am in Winkworth Road, Banstead by officers from the Reigate and Banstead Area Patrol Team. He and showed officers a Portuguese driver’s licence when asked for details, and pretended to be ‘Samuel Alves’.

However he couldn’t understand any Portuguese when challenged.

He was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a controlled identity document with intent and later admitted he was Albanian and provided his real name. He was released on bail but failed to appear at court for the matter but was later arrested on July 12 in Croyden Lane, Banstead by a probationer officer on duty with their tutor.

This time he pretended to be Joao Damiano, another Portuguese national and again he couldn’t understand any Portuguese.

Once again he then provided his real details and a search of his car revealed bags of cocaine hidden inside panel by the steering wheel and large amounts of cash.

His home address was searched and more cash was found hidden under his mattress and in a chest of drawers.

Hajdarmataj, 20, of Windmill Road, Croydon was jailed for 4 years and 6 months when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (August 10).

He previously pleaded guilty to charges of driving without a licence and insurance (disqualified for 2 years), two counts of possessing an identity document with intent (6 months to run concurrently) and two counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine (4 years and 6 months).

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