Tuesday 27 September 2016

Bolivian man smuggled cocaine into Ireland to earn enough money to re-build family home

Published 04/12/2012 | 11:30

A BOLIVIAN man has been jailed for two years after he agreed to transport cocaine into Ireland in an effort to get money to re-build his family home.

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Ciro Beckerz (21) of no fixed abode, was stopped by gardaí in Dublin Airport last June and later passed 66 pellets, 806 grammes, of cocaine over a five day stay in Beaumont Hospital. He admitted during interview that he agreed to transport the drugs, worth €56,000 in return for USD$2,000. He said he had been standing at a bus stop in his home town when he was approached and offered cash to transport the drugs. His counsel, Fiona Pekaar BL, said Beckerz's father had left the family when he was only a baby and he saw himself as head of the household.

The family had been living in a timber house at the time and he felt the cash would give him the money he needed to replace the timber with brick making the house warmer. Ms. Pekaar said her client was aware of the dangers but was willing to take the risk in order to help his family. She described Beckerz as a naïve young man who was 'influenced by the lure of money'.

Beckerz pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully importing cocaine at Dublin Airport on June 20, 2012. He has no previous convictions. Garda Neil Cotter told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, Beckerz first claimed he had arrived in Ireland to study English and was due to start a six month course. However officials noticed he had return flights booked for July. His urine tested positive for cocaine and an x- ray later showed up the pellets in his system. Gda. Cotter said Beckerz also had the equivalent of €1,150 in cash in three different currencies.

He accepted that Beckerz and his family were all unemployed at the time and he had committed the offence for financial reasons. Judge Martin Nolan said that Beckerz got involved for ' the best of motives' and accepted that he wanted to help his family. 'He succumbed to temptation to make easy money. Nonetheless he took a chance and I must impose a custodial sentence,' Judge Nolan said.

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