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Alleged Belfast drug dealer 'retched up nine wraps of heroin' when police arrested her, court hears

Published 12/02/2016

An alleged heroin dealer swallowed up to nine wraps of the drug before her arrest in Belfast, the High Court heard today.

Lithuanian national Inesa Poyarkova then retched up the haul as she was being taken into custody by officers investigating illegal trading in the city, a judge was told.

The 23-year-old claimed a notebook full of money lists seized from her contained records of earning as much as £250 a day from begging.

Prosecutors instead alleged she was acting as a "runner" for a wider organised criminal gang selling heroin on the streets of Belfast.

Poyarkova, of no fixed address, faces charges of possessing Class A drugs and being concerned in their supply.

Bail was refused due to concerns she may not turn up for any trial.

She was arrested after allegedly handing over quantities of heroin to a user in the Lisburn Road area on January 26.

The court heard that as she was being taken into custody she brought up nine wraps of the drug into her mouth.

Philip Henry, prosecuting, said she claimed to have purchased them in the city centre the night before for her own use.

According to her account she took two and swallowed the rest because she thought the PSNI were following her.

Referring to the notebook, the barrister alleged it was used to log earnings from drugs transactions.

"Her account at interview was she was recording the amount of money she received from begging," Mr Henry said.

"She said she was receiving between £200 and £250 per day."

Poyarkova claimed she came to Northern Ireland after first arriving in Galway.

She is among nine Lithuanian nationals arrested by police investigating the alleged heroin trade.

Seven of them are on remand facing charges and two received police bail.

One of those released has since fled, the court heard.

Mr Henry said Interpol have disclosed that at least one of the suspects on remand has provided a false name.

Opposing bail for Poyarkova, he continued: "Police place this applicant as part of an organised criminal operation, with her performing the runner or street dealer side of operations."

The barrister added: "This is a fairly efficient organisation. I'm instructed that for this lady's role a replacement for her has already been put into operation."

Michael Boyd, defending, argued that his client should be presumed innocent despite any doubts over her claims.

He stressed that her alleged role, on the prosecution case, put her at the bottom of any criminal gang.

Mr Boyd added: "This lady is a habitual user of heroin and has been since she was 15.

"She is quite literally a stranger abroad, and she is a vulnerable female."

But denying bail, His Honour Judge Lynch said: "The notion that a beggar makes detailed records of income for tax or some other purpose seems, to put it mildly, rather bizarre."

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