Man caught with kilo of heroin given licence to sell alcohol in Glasgow

A man who was jailed after being caught with a kilo of heroin in Shetland has been granted permission to sell alcohol from a Glasgow shop after expressing regret over his “mistake”.

Jabran Ali was one of three men jailed after they were stopped by police in the village of Voe on Hogmanay 2012 and were found to be carrying heroin with a “substantial” street value, reported at the time to be £140,000.

Mr Ali, now 34, who is planning to take over his father’s convenience store in the city, applied for a personal licence – required by a member of staff to sell alcohol from licensed premises – and told the Licensing Board he had turned his life around since the conviction.

“Mistakes are part of what makes us,” he said. “I made a huge one for which I and my immediate family have paid heavily for. Since 2012, I have focused on turning my life around and gaining a personal licence would be part of the next steps for me.”

The man can now sell alcohol.

Asked whether he regretted his actions, he said: “100% definitely.”

Police Scotland had recommended Mr Ali’s licence bid was refused. An officer told the board how the applicant, and two other men, had been seen “acting suspiciously” around the NorthLink ferry terminal in Aberdeen. They then boarded the boat to Lerwick along with a Volkswagen Passat car, she added.

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The car was stopped on the A970. Mr Ali, the driver, was “physically shaking” and his “voice was trembling as he answered basic questions”. A search found four packages of powder, over one kilogramme, which, the officer said, depending “on the purity would have a substantial street value”.

Mr Ali was sentenced to three years and nine months for the offence and served one year and eight months before his release in 2014. He told the board he had been brought up in Robroyston and “at the time Robroyston and surrounding areas had a high rate of drug-related crime”.

“I myself chose what to do, I did it for financial gain,” he added. “I essentially became a product of my own environment and it is by far the biggest single mistake of my life.

“I am 34-year-old now and it has been a long time since 2012. I fully accept what I have done, I have brought nothing but shame upon myself and my family members.”

The applicant said he had decided to educate himself in prison, completing rehabilitation courses, and “prove to my family and myself that I am more than capable to lead a positive life”.

He is now engaged to his partner and working in his family’s shop. “Since my release I have not been involved in any criminality,” he said. “During the last seven to eight years, I have been reshaping my life and working with my family in a convenience business store.”

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After hearing from Mr Ali, councillors on the city’s Licensing Board decided to grant a personal licence, which will be valid for ten years.