A police photograph has captured the hilarious moment a bungling drug dealer realised his £7.2million stash had disappeared.
Christian Tachev, 25, claimed that he worked as a personal trainer and sold vapes, but in truth he worked as a courier in a “sophisticated” drugs operation in Australia.
He was responsible for moving around bags of money and drugs but unbeknownst to him, the police had been watching him for some time.
As part of this operations, cops knew of the location where Tachev had buried a huge amount of drugs – with a street value between £5.7m (AU $9.9m) and £7.2m (AU $12.4m).
The officers proceeded to dig up the narcotics and set up a surveillance camera to catch the drug smuggler in the act.
On March 19 last year, the 25-year-old went to the scene where he had buried his stash and was filmed digging for 25 minutes, only to find his illegal goods were no longer there.
He appeared visibly shocked when he realised that the package was gone, unaware that it had been seized by the authorities.
A short while later he was arrested by officers with a large sum of money in his possession.
He was charged with commercial drug trafficking and dealing with the proceeds of crime and was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Wednesday (April 6).
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Sentencing, West Australian Supreme Court Justice Joseph McGrath said: “The offences that you have committed are most serious.”
He added that Tachev was motivated “solely by financial gain”, although the court “accepted that [his] role could be described as that of a courier”.
The judge added: “However, there was a high level of sophistication to your conduct given the manner in which the drugs were buried and concealed in bushland areas around Perth, and the fact that these locations were only able to be located through GPS coordinates."
“Whilst your role may be described as a 'courier', I am satisfied that the role you undertook was pivotal to the trafficking of methylamphetamine in the community.
“I further find that whilst you undertook the role of courier, you obviously had trust reposed in you from other persons involved in the trafficking and that you undertook a vital role in endeavouring to achieve success in respect of the criminal activity.”
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