Drug dealer suspect is caught armed with an axe on streets of Portsmouth after illegally entering Britain in a lorry 

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A suspected drug dealer illegally smuggled into the country in a lorry roamed free for months as he could not be found after being arrested, a court heard.

Albanian national Arsen Spahiu, 25, was arrested on suspicion of having cocaine and heroin with intent to supply in April last year.

He was found with an axe and a meat cleaver

He was found with an axe and a meat cleaver

But he was only picked up again after he was found with an axe and meat cleaver on the streets of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Crown Court was told that officers who arrested him released him from custody under investigation with no charges - despite him being an illegal immigrant who entered the United Kingdom without leave.

Months later he was spotted in Lucknow Street, Fratton, where police discovered he had an axe and a meat cleaver.

The court heard he had a fake Italian driving licence on him, and had smuggled himself into the country at Dover, in Kent, between 2015 and 2018.

It comes as home secretary Sajid Javid has ordered the deployment of two Border Force vessels to patrol the Kent coast after more than 230 migrants have attempted crossing the English Channel since November last year.

Twelve migrants were held on December 31, with a 10-year-old child among the dozen found on a Kent beach in a black dinghy.

It’s understood Spahiu was smuggled into the country under a lorry.

On January 2, Spahiu admitted four charges - having a fake Italian driving licence, two charges of having a bladed article on October 31 last year, and entering Britain without leave between January 1, 2015, and November 1, 2018.

Both a defence and prosecution barrister, a dock officer and Spahiu crowded around a phone on loudspeaker in court as an Albanian interpreter translated proceedings for the defendant.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: ‘Those four pleas represent all the charges currently before the court.

‘But Mr Spahiu was stopped in April of 2018 in the city of Southampton where he was suspected of being in possession with intent to supply both cocaine and heroin.

‘He was released under investigation and was not found until those offences occurred in October of last year.

‘The crown are in possession of all the evidence in relation to those other matters.’

Spahiu, of Gordon Avenue, Southampton, is likely to be charged over the drug arrest within 10 days, the court heard.

Adjourning the case, judge David Melville QC said: ‘I’m going to adjourn this case for sentence on February 8.

‘I’m going to require the defendant to serve his basis of plea.’

Spahiu was remanded in custody until the sentencing hearing.