Cocaine smuggler caught after asking customs for directions
A DUTCH national was caught importing €70,000 worth of cocaine after he got lost in the airport and asked customs officers for directions.
Cristobal Nieuw (64) had ingested 98 pellets of cocaine and was transporting them from Brazil when he was caught. Nieuw, with an address at The Hague in the Netherlands but originally from The Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to importation of 1.004kgs of cocaine worth €70,295.
Prosecuting counsel Tony McGillicuddy BL told the court that when Nieuw landed he became lost and asked a customs officer for directions, who became suspicious.
Nieuw was detained but no drugs were found. A blood test revealed evidence he was smuggling cocaine internally. He admitted to swallowing 98 pellets. He was arrested and taken to Beaumont Hospital, where he passed the pellets over two days.
Judge Patrick McCartan said there was enough in Nieuw's favour to avoid imposing the mandatory minimum of 10 years.
However he said a jail term must be imposed and sentenced Nieuw to four years.