'Tortured' refugee faces life in detention after drug haul
A 32-YEAR-OLD man is likely to spend the rest of his life in an Australian detention centre because the prospect of being deported back to his birth country is too horrifying and deadly to consider.
After spending months imprisoned and tortured by religious authorities in Iran when he was 24 years old, Mohammad Abdullahi fled first to Indonesia and then spent seven months on Christmas Island before being declared by Australian authorities as a genuine asylum seeker.
The Kurdish man born in Iran is now stateless as his Protection Visa was automatically revoked the moment Justice Graeme Crow had to hand down a five-year prison sentence for being found with 84 grams of pure methamphetamines, and $86,335 from two separate searches 11 months apart.
The court heard Iran's policy is to not take back involuntary deportees and the Australian laws around visas say those immigrants charged for criminal offences are likely to be deported.
As a result, Abdullahi has limited options; show clause to the Immigration Minister why he should be allowed back into the community - which Justice Crow said he didn't meet the criteria - or face "indefinite incarceration in a detention centre".
Defence barrister John Jacob said Abdullahi, who had served in the Iranian armed forces after he was falsely told he would be given official citizen documents such as a birth certificate, had turned to drugs to try and forget about what he went through his home country.
"He wouldn't wish to return given his personal circumstances," Justice Crow said.
"Methamphetamine stopped me from remembering my time in Iran," Mr Jacob read from a document written by Abdullahi.
"Stopped me from missing my family. Stopped me from wanting to kill myself."
Abdullahi was first arrested by police after a raid on his Kawana property on July 17, 2016, where he declared he had over $40,000 in his bedroom.
Police also found about 55g of pure meth along with six vials of testosterone and eight mobile phones - two which contained drug-related messages.
"That should have been sufficient for you to change your ways," Justice Crow said.
But 11-months later, an undercover officer approached Abdullahi at the Rockhampton Police Station and told him he'd been picked up with a "ball" and asked if he could assist in supplying drugs.
The pair swapped phone numbers and the next day, Abdullahi texted "got something for you which is good".
Three days later, police received information that drug money was buried near the Fitzroy River.
A search located three bundles buried under rocks Bowlin Rd, Depot Hill - all containing varying amounts of cash, and then a thermos containing more cash and meth buried under trees.
The court heard police reburied the cash and drugs and set up surveillance.
At 8.50pm Abdullahi and a second man arrived in a car. The second man was initially charged but the charge was dismissed in court yesterday.
SES's further search of the area later uncovered two more bundles of cash.
Justice Crow said if it wasn't for the immigration/deportation issues, he would have ordered a six-year prison term.
"It seems no one knows what your future is," he said.