Saturday 25 February 2017

Two men appear in court over €20m cocaine seizure

Fiona Donnelly

Two men have been charged in connection with what has been described as one of the biggest inland cocaine seizures in recent times.

Sean O'Donovan (45) with an address at Ballynakilla, Bartlemy, Co Cork, and German national Richard Deutschenbaur, with an address at Stora Slatlovagen 8,44195, Alinggas, Sweden, were brought before a special sitting of Fermoy District Court yesterday afternoon.

Both men were arrested on Friday and are charged with possession of cocaine and possession with the intent to sell or supply to others.

The charges relate to the seizure of 80kg of cocaine at a shed at Ballynakilla, Bartlemy, near Fermoy in north Cork, last Thursday. It is understood that the cocaine is 80 per cent pure and could potentially have a street value of more than €20m.

The two men arrived at the courthouse with their faces covered.

Det Sgt Sean Leahy, of Fermoy garda station, gave details of the arrest, charge and caution of Mr Deutschenbaur, who made no reply to each charge after being cautioned.

The State objected to bail. However, solicitor Ken Murray said he would not be making a bail application at that time.

He then told the court that his client was recovering from a brain tumour. He said that Mr Deutschenbaur was apprehensive about getting a knock or a bang while in custody.

Det Garda Damien O'Farrell, from the Garda National Drugs Unit, gave details of the arrest, charge and caution of Mr O'Donovan, who also made no reply to the charges after caution.

Mr Murray again said he would be making no application for bail at this time.

Judge Olan Kelleher agreed to remand both of the accused in custody to appear again at the District Court on Friday.

Gardai are awaiting directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to the two cases.

Meanwhile, three other men who were arrested in connection with the massive haul were released without charge yesterday.

Gardai are preparing files for the DPP on the men, including a 46-year-old Hungarian man arrested in Cork city and a 65-year-old Dublin man and his 42-year-old son, who were arrested in Crumlin.

Sunday Independent

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