Sunday 18 February 2018

Accused in €29 million drug deal told gardaí he was carrying rubbish not cocaine

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A MAN accused of involvement in a €29 million cocaine operation told arresting gardai he was a cleaner and that the wheelie bins in a trailer towed by his car contained rubbish.

Detective Garda Sean Early of the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) revealed that Abraham Shodiya (44) denied he put a bag shown to him on arrest into the wheelie bins and said he had been told by his boss to take the “rubbish” to Tallaght. He requested a lawyer when asked to identify this boss.

Shodiya, of Carnlough Road, Cabra, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of possessing cocaine for sale or supply and two charges of possessing cocaine at Enterprises Services Unit 1, Old Quarry Campus, North West Business Park, Ballycoolin and Maldron Hotel, Kiltipper on June 26, 2012.

Det Gda Early told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that Shodiya signed the notes of his replies to gardai after they intercepted his vehicle and trailer of wheelie bins at the Maldron Hotel car park.

Earlier, Garda Rebecca Daly told Mr Naidoo that she had watched live CCTV footage of the Ballycoolin warehouse on June 26, 2012 in which she saw the accused break open wooden planks and remove packages of a white substance. The recorded CCTV footage was shown to the jury.

Detective Sergeant Brian Roberts said the cocaine seized at the Maldron Hotel and Ballycoolin industrial estate weighed approximately 432kg and had a street value of over €29 million.

He agreed with Blaise O'Carroll SC, defending, that colleagues seized over €59,000 of cocaine on the same day at a Leixlip premises belonging to Gareth Hopkins, who has already been dealt with by the courts.

The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of nine men and three women

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