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Truck drivers charged over alleged €2.5m cocaine 'handover' in car park

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Two truck drivers have been charged after gardaí intercepted an alleged "handover" of €2.5m worth of cocaine in a garage car park in north Co Dublin at the weekend.

Charlie Coyle (58) and Dmitrijs Venskovics (44) both appeared before Dublin District Court yesterday on drugs charges following the seizure.

Judge Gerard Jones adjourned their cases to Friday after hearing Mr Venskovics allegedly drove a truck from which cocaine was handed over to a lorry driven by Mr Coyle.

Mr Coyle, of Cootehill, Co Cavan, was granted bail subject to a €25,000 surety, while Mr Venskovics, with an address in Neretas Novads, Latvia, deferred a bail application. They are both charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply at Blake's Cross, Dublin, on Saturday.

Mr Venskovics was not making any bail application yet but would on his next court date, his solicitor Michael French said.

Det Gda Redmond O'Leary said it was alleged Mr Venskovics was the driver of a truck observed by members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

There was a "handover" to a second truck which was stopped and a large quantity of drugs found in it, Det Gda O'Leary said.

Objecting to Mr Coyle's bail, Det Gda Michael Ormond said it was alleged he drove the second truck and took possession of the cocaine before leaving the scene.

Mr Coyle was an "innocent man", was entitled to bail and although he was living in Northern Ireland, he could reside at the family home address in Cavan, his solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said, applying for bail. Det Gda Ormond said Mr Coyle's behaviour had been "perfectly fine" since he was arrested.

Judge Jones said the allegation was that the accused was "effectively caught red-handed".

He granted Mr Coyle bail in his own bond of €100 but with a €25,000 independent surety, to be approved by the court.

Under conditions, he is to sign on three times weekly at Carrickmacross garda station.

The court heard his passport was lost and if it is found, it is to be surrendered to gardaí. If not, it is to be cancelled.

Gardaí have said a third man arrested has been released without charge, with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Irish Independent