Belfast chef denies knowing of £140k worth of cannabis sent to home
A chef arrested after £140,000 of cannabis was posted to his home in west Belfast knew nothing about the package, a court was told yesterday.
Jian Bo Yu's lawyer also claimed £16,000 seized from the house on Wednesday was a loan to set up a Chinese takeaway.
The 37-year-old, from Iveagh Drive, was charged with another man after police intercepted seven kilos of the drugs believed to have been sent from Scotland.
He is accused of attempted possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.
Mei Feng Yu (41), also from Iveagh Drive, is charged with the same offences.
The pair were arrested as part of a proactive police operation carried out this week.
Appearing together at Belfast Magistrates' Court, Mei Feng Yu made no application for bail.
But counsel for Jian Bo Yu applied to have him released from custody, claiming he was unaware of the drugs.
Declan Quinn argued: "The defendant's case is that whoever is sending this material has got their wires crossed.
"The address is wrong and he has nothing to do with this."
A detective told the court that the seized cash was recovered from a bedroom table and a coat inside the property.
"He (Bo Yu) said an unidentified man came to the house and gave him the money," the officer explained.
Mr Quinn countered that his client claimed members of the Chinese community provided the cash as a loan for him to start his own food business.
In a bid to allay fears that Bo Yu may flee, the barrister revealed his client had been living with his family in Northern Ireland for 10 years.
He also suffers from a chronic form of hepatitis B, the court heard.
Refusing bail, however, District Judge Liam McNally held there was a risk of further offences being committed.
In a reference to the seized money, he told Bo Yu: "You're a man who, according to your legal aid application, is in receipt of child benefit and tax credits. "There's no proper explanation for that (cash)."
Both defendants were remanded in custody to appear in court next month via videolink.