Sunday 18 March 2018

Man with murder conviction in Albania jailed for his part in €680k drugs operation

Counsel for Jace Pelivani said he had a 'very bad gambling problem' and had 'fallen into bad company'

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice

Declan Brennan

A man with a conviction for murder in Albania has been jailed for six years for his part in a €680,000 drugs operation here.

Jace Pelivani (49) was arrested in Clondalkin, Dublin on May 18, 2017 driving a van containing pallets loaded with kilo blocks of cannabis.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the previous day gardai had received confidential information about a suspicious arrival of drugs at Dublin Port.

They found drugs on a pallet in the truck and rewrapped them in order to carry out a controlled delivery.

Gardai set up a surveillance operation to follow the truck's movements. The truck was driven to a unit in Ashbourne, Co Meath where the contents were unloaded before Pelivani transported them to Clondalkin.

Officers moved in and arrested him and found 34 kilos of cannabis, each wrapped separately.

Pelivani of Swanley Lane, Kent, England pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply on at Monastery Gate Lawns, Clondalkin on May 18, 2017.

The court heard that in November 2000 a court in Albania convicted Pelivani, in his absence, of murder and possession of a firearm. The conviction related to a pub fight on July 19, 1997.

Tara Burns SC, defending, told the court that her client had a very bad gambling problem. He had fallen into bad company in London and these people had entrusted him to launder some money.

He gambled the money and lost it and the same people then forced him to deliver the drugs, she said. Pelivani told gardai he would be paid €600 for the job.

He also told them he had never been to Ireland before but this was a lie. He had since moved to London.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that the Albanian authorities were not seeking the arrest or extradition of Pelivani. He backdated a six year prison term to last May.

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