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Indian-origin real estate agent from Brampton convicted of importing opium, faces 7 years in prison

Nitish Verma, a Brampton-based real estate agent, is currently serving a seven-year sentence, to be followed by deportation after he was convicted of importing opium from India.

According to a judgment recently released by Justice Lucille Shaw, Verma was found guilty of one count of importing opium after security personnel at Pearson International Airport found the drugs inside his luggage on, when he returned from a trip to India.

The 34-year-old was arrested on August 4, 2019, after 13.7 kilograms of opium were found in his bags, the judgement said. The street value of the drug was estimated to range from $294,316 to $936,460.

At the time of trial, Verma argued that he was unaware of the presence of opium inside sweet boxes tucked in his bags, saying that he was the victim of unscrupulous practices as he was bringing sweets to Canada at the request of a friend and alleged that the drugs were planted on him.

In the judgement, the judge stated that no connection could be established between Verma and any potential drug traffickers and several friends and family wrote letters of support for Verma to be submitted during the sentencing.

Verma is a permanent resident and moved to Canada years ago, graduating from Seneca College in 2013, then worked at Rogers and Bell before becoming a real estate agent.

In her sentencing, Shaw wrote that Verma was perhaps not a principal perpetrator, but a courier. “It strikes me as tragic that someone who showed so much promise and had so much support could commit a criminal offence with devasting consequences,” she wrote.

Along with a 7-year prison sentence, Nitish Verma would also face deportation after his jail term is completed.

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