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Lankan in Australia jailed for tablet shopping spree

An Adelaide operative in an illegal drug ring who flew into Hobart on a cold and flu tablet shopping spree has been jailed for 18 months.

Michael James Silva, 35, of Henley Beach, was caught with more than 1,050 tablets and about $23,000 in cash after pharmacies became suspicious and raised the alert.

He had also imported pseudoephedrine tablets from his home country of Sri Lanka into Adelaide.

He and a female accomplice had been bulk buying from 25 chemists before police intercepted them at Hobart Airport in 2004. The tablets can be turned into the drug speed.

Justice David Porter said yesterday Silva was driven to commit the crime because he had a $60,000 debt from a child custody battle.

He said while it explained the conduct "it in no way excuses it".

The Judge said Silva was keen to return to his family and put the offending behind him.

"There remains a need to recognise the evil of your conduct," Justice Porter said.

The result of his actions had widespread and adverse impacts on the community.

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