Wednesday 17 January 2018

GAA star accused in crystal meth sting

Brendan Toner (right) is pictured in Hong Kong
Brendan Toner (right) is pictured in Hong Kong

Deborah McAleese

A former GAA star could be facing at least 20 years in a Hong Kong jail after he was accused of being part of an international crystal meth drug-smuggling ring.

Brendan Toner (62), a former Down footballer, was allegedly caught attempting to smuggle the killer narcotic crystal meth - also known as ice - from Hong Kong to Australia in a multi-million-dollar drug-trafficking operation.

The drugs were alleged to be hidden in his luggage as he prepared to board a flight from Hong Kong to Australia.

A number of his co-accused have claimed to be victims of a west African crime syndicate.

Mr Toner was released on bail in September after 17 months on remand in a Hong Kong prison, with alleged fellow drug mules from Australia, America and Holland. If convicted, he faces 20 years behind bars.

He said from Hong Kong that he was reluctant to discuss his case but added that he was "coping great".

Between 1.5kg and 4kg of crystal meth was allegedly found in the possession of Mr Toner and eight others.

Four co-defendants from Australia claimed that they were tricked by a drugs gang.

Mr Toner, who moved to England from Castlewellan, Co Down several years ago, travelled to Hong Kong on April 13, 2014. He was then due to travel on to Australia on April 21, 2014, but was arrested at the airport.

Irish Independent

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