A MAN who was caught with almost £3500 worth of cannabis has been given permission to work as a private hire driver in Glasgow.

The city’s licensing committee granted a restricted one-year licence to Natnael Esayas, despite Police Scotland arguing he is “not a fit and proper person to hold a licence”.

Councillors on the committee issued the applicant with a warning over his future conduct.

An officer said Mr Esayas, who had applied for a three-year licence, had been convicted at Paisley Sheriff Court in November last year.

It came after an incident in August when officers on mobile patrol approached the applicant’s car and “detected a strong smell of cannabis”.

The licensing committee was told a search of the vehicle found 526.1g of cannabis with “a street value of £3480”. 

Edible cannabis chews with a value of between £230 and £460 and more than £1300 in cash were also discovered, the committee heard.

The officer said Mr Esayas also has six penalty points on his driving licence.

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Councillor Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, said: “What have you got to say for yourself?”

The applicant said: “I’m ashamed. I pleaded guilty the first time in court. It shouldn’t have happened, it’s never going to happen.

“I’m trying to take my life forward and be a good person again.”

Mr Esayas also said he doesn’t take drugs or drink. He added he has three children and he wants “to get a good income to help them”.

Asked how he got involved with drugs in the first place, the applicant claimed they were “someone else’s” but he chose “to plead guilty and close the case”.