A SKUNK cannabis dealer banked more than £21,000 from his customers in nine months, including £8,000 from five “regulars,” Bradford Crown Court heard.

Sanwal Arif’s business came to an end when he was stopped in a VW Passat on June 11 last year and the police found drugs, £170 in banknotes and incriminating phones in the vehicle.

Arif, 27, of Ryshworth Bridge, Bingley, made no comment in interview but went on to plead guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply, simple possession of £22 of cocaine and acquiring or using £21,349 of criminal money.

He was today spared an immediate prison sentence by Recorder Ashley Serr who heard he was a family man with three children and a grandmother to care for.

Prosecutor Jo Shepherd told the court that Arif was the front seat passenger in the Passat when it was stopped by officers on patrol in Bingley at 7pm.

Grip-seal bags contained £200 worth of skunk cannabis and messages on the phones included: “Yo, can you drop me ten bud?”

Miss Shepherd said the content of the phones was indicative of a “ring and bring” drugs supply service.

When Arif’s bank account was examined, it was revealed that large amounts of people had been paying him amounts varying from £10 to £45, although one keen customer had made 77 transfers in the total sum of £2,825.

Miss Shepherd said that in the period looked at, January 1, 2020 to September 17, 2020, £21,349 of the money deposited was found to be criminal cash. The rest of the £30,700 was family benefits paid to Arif.

He made no comment when he was interviewed by the police.

His barrister, Shufqat Khan, said he was a married man with three children, one just a baby. He cared for his grandmother as part of his significant family responsibilities. He now worked full-time as a handyman doing maintenance work and had no previous convictions for drugs offences.

Mr Khan said that prison inmates were still locked in their cells for 22 to 23 hours a day because of the Covid pandemic making a jail sentence far more onerous.

Recorder Serr sentenced Arif to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work.

He also imposed a nine-month electronically monitored overnight curfew order. The court heard that a Proceeds of Crime Act timetable had been fixed at an earlier hearing.