Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 November 2015

Teacher 'had cocaine lab at home'

Published 20/03/2014

A teacher convicted of drugs offences was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court
A teacher convicted of drugs offences was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court

A teacher turned drug dealer had a cocaine laboratory in his home worth around £900,000, a police officer has told a disciplinary hearing.

Father-of-two Macphallen Kuwale was handed a three-and-a-half year jail term by Cardiff Crown Court last year after being caught with around £8,000 worth of the Class A substance.

Detectives also uncovered a "sophisticated" wholesale operation - comprising of cutting agents worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as well as a pressing machine - to make the cocaine appear to be of a higher grade.

A General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) hearing today heard that Malawi-born Kuwale was an IT teacher at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen, Bridgend, when arrested by police.

As well as his criminal conviction, Kuwale now faces being struck off the teaching register.

Detective Timothy Jones, of South Wales Police's drug squad, told a panel that 111 grammes of cocaine was seized during the raid at Kuwale's home in Llanrumney, Cardiff.

He said: "Kuwale was heavily involved in the supply of cocaine.

"He was involved in street level dealing as well as a sophisticated wholesale operation.

"It was totally unusual. It is not something that you come across every day."

Detectives' investigations also uncovered further damning evidence in scenes reminiscent of TV show Breaking Bad.

The hit US series tells the story of chemistry teacher Walter White who sells methamphetamine in the wake of serious health and money troubles.

In a bid to cover his tracks, White, played by actor Brian Cranston, assumes the alias of Heisenburg and has a secret second mobile phone.

Detectives investigating Kuwale found that he had arranged drug deals via "coded" text messages under the guise of "Mac".

After being arrested on December 12 2012, he claimed he had been severely stressed at the time, and two years earlier his home was nearly repossessed.

However, technology whizz Kuwale - who holds a degree in computing - flatly denied being a drug dealer and insisted he was only holding the drugs as a favour for someone.

Mr Jones, who has worked on hundreds of narcotics cases during his 11-year police career, said that, in his experience, people in the drugs world "did not do favours" for nothing.

He added: "This was in the higher echelons."

Also giving evidence at the hearing was Kuwale's former headteacher Andrew Warren.

He contradicted suggestions that the registrant had been treated unfairly while at the school.

Mr Warren said the school continually tried to help Kuwale after concerns about his teaching standards were raised by parents and pupils - some of whom complained about their teacher's poor level of English.

GTCW panel chairman Steve Powell said the body had no option but to permanently ban Kuwale from teaching.

He said: "Mr Kuwale presents a significant and ongoing risk to the standards of the profession.

"His involvement in the illegal drugs trade is evidence of deep-seated attitudinal problems.

"We cannot be satisfied that there is no risk of repetition.

"The proportionate sanction is an indefinite prohibition order.

"The wellbeing of pupils must be protected and the reputation of the profession maintained."

Kuwale, who had asked for the hearing to take place in private, has 28 days to appeal against the GTCW's decision.

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