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A taxi company owner from Glasgow has been found guilty of using counterfeit money in Oban.
Tahir Nadeem, of Flat 1-1 Kenmore Street, Glasgow, who also drives his taxis, was found guilty after a trial in Oban Sheriff Court on May 20.
The 32-year-old was charged with using a fraudulent £20 note in an Oban newsagent’s on June 3; using fake £2 coins in another newsagent’s on June 9; and having counterfeit £2 coins in his car, as well as a scalpel without a reasonable excuse on June 15.
In his defence, Nadeem’s solicitor said he used the counterfeit money without knowing it was fake. He said he received a ‘float’ of money in the mornings and was himself duped.
In regards to the scalpel, Nadeem said he found it in the back of his car and did not have a chance to dispose of it before being stopped by police.
The first shopkeeper accepted the £20 note, but said that ‘it didn’t feel right’.
The note was kept aside and later passed to the manager, who took it to the police the following morning.
The second on June 9 was given five £2 coins and also accepted them, but when another customer paid with a £2 coin, the shopkeeper noted a difference.
The coins looked new, but the date was not and the features weren’t as defined.
The coins also failed to have ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ etched on the side.
The money was taken to the police, who used CCTV footage to identify the man using his car registration.
By chance on June 15, police spotted the vehicle driving on the A85 out of Oban.
They caught up with Nadeem in Connel, placed him under arrest and searched his vehicle, unearthing more fake £2 coins and a scalpel.
Nadeem said the £30 in coins that were found in the car might have been left by another driver.
Procutator fiscal Eoin McGinty said: ‘The fact a driver may have left £30 in the centre console does not make sense. It’s the crown’s case that there’s a course of conduct: he comes to Oban, goes into smaller shops and provides counterfeit money.’
Mr McGinty said added: ‘If his position was that he was given a single bag [containing counterfeit money], there would have been a degree of credibility.’
However, given that the first two incidents happened six days apart and that more coins were found in his car and pocket, Mr McGinty said it was beyond the realms of coincidence that the three times he is in Oban he has counterfeit cash on him.
Sheriff Hughes said: ‘In the space of 12 days, you have come to the same town three times. Either you have known the money was counterfeit or you yourself were duped.’
However, after taking everything into account, Sheriff Hughes found Nadeem guilty.
His sentence was deferred for four weeks in order for the court to obtain criminal justice and social work reports as well as a restriction of liberty order.