Jury sees through Southsea pair’s ‘ludicrous’ drug story

TALL TALE Balla Diop, left and Allan Kahurani, right
TALL TALE Balla Diop, left and Allan Kahurani, right
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Andrew Bache

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TWO drug dealers who made up a ‘ludicrous’ story to try to get out of trouble have been jailed.

Balla Diop and Allan Kahurani sold class A drugs on the streets of Portsmouth after setting up base at a flat in Ashburton Road, Southsea.

The police kept watch on the flat and saw Diop, 43, leave and sell drugs.

When they raided the property Kahurani, 32, was caught flushing heroin down the toilet.

But both men denied having anything to do with selling drugs and during a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court they claimed the six wraps of heroin recovered from the flat belonged to someone else.

They told the jury a dealer called Kingston had come round for a cup of tea and left his heroin.

When confronted with the evidence of text messages about dealing drugs found on their mobile phones and scales used to weigh the drugs they claimed the dealer had left them as well.

But the jury saw through their story.

Diop, of Mafeking Road, Southsea, was found guilty of two counts of supplying a class A drug and one of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.

Kahurani, of Omega Street, Somers Town, was convicted of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply. Jailing them for four-and-a-half-years each, Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘You contested the matter in front of the jury and while you were seeking to put forward really ludicrous explanations I was able to gain a clear view as to the enterprise that was going on here.

‘This was a medium scale retailing operation, conducted from what was hoped to be a safe house, dealing class A drugs to a variety of users on the streets nearby.

‘It’s quite apparent that shortly before the police attended you Kahurani had flushed drugs down the toilet bowl and we will never know how much that was.

‘This was significant class A drug dealing.’

After the verdicts Anthony Bailey, defending Diop, who has previous convictions for drug offences, said his client sold the drugs to feed his own habit. Kahurani’s barrister David Storry, said his client had agreed to sell the drugs, in August 2011, to work off a debt.