A former taxi firm boss has been refused a licence to serve alcohol after police chiefs claimed he could be hoodwinked into working for organised crime gangs.
Bernard Munro was arrested in 2012 when officers found more than £100,000 worth of heroin in his taxi.
He was caught as part of a large-scale surveillance operation aimed at smashing drug trade links between Tayside and Liverpool.
Mr Munro, 61, was later cleared of all allegations, but his passenger Stephen Townsley was jailed for five years and six months.
Mr Munro went before Perth and Kinross Council’s licensing board on Thursday to fight for a new personal licence, which would allow him to work in a hotel bar.
However, Police Scotland objected to the move, arguing that Mr Munro had proven links with ringleaders of organised crime gangs and if he received a new licence they could target him again.
Constable Leigh-Ann Gregge told the committee said that Mr Munro was caught with around 140g of heroin in his taxi at Coupar Angus in June 2012.
The drugs were found in the front passenger seat. The board heard that the driver of the car, wearing a white shirt, was seen on CCTV getting out and handling a package.
However, Mr Munro said he was the victim of mistaken identity, because although he accepts he was driving he was wearing a denim shirt at the time.
“I just thought I was driving this guy to Dundee and back again,” he said. “I didn’t know that there were any drugs involved.”
Police later seized nearly £11,000 in cash found at a shop run by Mr Munro’s wife.
Mr Munro said this was takings from their businesses, including a £3,000 payment for recent construction work at his boxing club.
Mr Munro also accepted he had visited the homes of drug dealers, and had their numbers stored on his phone, but that was because he knew them and their families through his taxi business.
“This has just been a horrendous time for me and my family,” he said. “I’m totally against organised crime and definitely against drugs.”
Mr Munro, who recently sold his taxi business, said he had worked to turn his life around and had not touched alcohol for more than 20 years.
He stormed out of the meeting moments before the committee unanimously agreed to refuse his application to prevent crime and disorder.