Man appears in court charged with ammunition and drugs offences

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By Q Radio News

A man who the court heard was caught in possession of cocaine, scales, other drug paraphernalia as well as 60 rounds of 9mm ammunition has been remanded in custody at Derry Magistrate's Court.

Mohammed Kouki (36) of Argyle Street in Derry appeared charged with possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply on July 29 and possessing ammunition in suspicious circumstances on the same date.

A police officer connected the man to the charges and opposed bail.

The court was told that police observed the defendant on a bicycle in the Rock Road area and searched a rucksack he was carrying.

White powder and other drugs paraphernalia was found and a quantity of ammunition.

Searches were carried out on two properties linked to Kouki one at his home in Argyle Street and another at an apartment.

At the Argyle Street address police found a 'substantial amount' of cannabis some 215 grammes valued at between £2,000 to £4,300 according to police.

Initially Kouki made no comment but gave police a prepared statement in which he admitted moving drugs and cash twice a week for £500 a time.

He said he had tried to stop but had been 'bundled into a van' taken across the border and threatened he would be shot.

Bail was opposed due to the fear of re-offending as the officer said he could go back to 'the criminal network'.

She also said the defendant was a Tunisian national and there was a risk of flight.

Defence counsel Dean Mooney said that his client was resident here some 14 years and was in a relationship with a local woman and had children.

He said he was willing to surrender his passport and pay a cash surety.

Mr Mooney said his client was essentially a mule moving drugs from A to B and knew nothing about the ammunition.

He said Kouki claimed the cannabis found was for his own personal use.

The police officer was asked about the ammunition and she said police were carrying out forensic checks on it but added that it could be for 'a more sinister purpose'.

District Judge Eamonn King said the cannabis seemed to be in excess of what would be required for personal use.

He remanded Kouki in custody to appear again on August 27.

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