Indian-Australian guilty of smuggling drugs asks court to spare him jail

Melbourne, Feb 13 (IANS) A 29-year-old Indian-Australian who posed as a food delivery man to traffic illegal opioids into an Adelaide medi-hotel in 2021, has pleaded with a court to spare him from prison.

Raman Sharma wrapped drugs inside a burrito and concealed it in an Uber Eats bag, saying he was there to deliver food to people quarantining at the Tom’s Court Hotel, the 9News reported.

In October last year, Sharma, from West Hindmarsh, had pleaded guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to possessing opium and heroin intending to supply those drugs to another person.

The drugs included heroin as well as ‘Indian Viagra’, also known as Kamini, which contains highly addictive opioids, and is banned by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

According to police, there were no receipts or details attached to the bags, which raised suspicions.

Sharma said he had made the deliveries to strangers under the direction of an associate in Melbourne, 9News said.

While appealing to the Adelaide Magistrates Court to spare him prison, Sharma said that he had purchased the drugs out of “cultural obligation” to a friend and stood to gain nothing from the crime.

Prosecutors are pushing for a jail-term but expect a suspended sentence. Sharma, who is out on bail presently, will be sentenced in April this year.