| 10.1°C Dublin

Face of €250m drug suspect in custody

THIS is the first photo of the 32-year-old man charged in relation to the biggest cocaine seizure on Irish soil.

Garret Hopkins was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing at Blanchardstown District Court yesterday.

Hopkins who is originally from Carnlough Road, Cabra, north Dublin and Nigerian Abraham Shodiya (42) were charged at Blanchardstown District Court after cocaine believed to be worth in excess of ¤250m was seized during raids in a joint operation by Gardai and customs officers

Gardai had seized a vehicle with approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine in the Tallaght area. In follow up searches in the west Dublin and Kildare, officers recovered a further quantity of cocaine believed to be in excess of 300kg in weight.

Hopkins of Beechpark, Leixlip, Co Kildare but originally from Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin and Shodiya with an address at Carnlough Road, Cabra, are charged with possession of cocaine for sale or supply at North West Business Park, Ballycoolin, in Dublin, on June 26.


Shodiya also faced an additional charge for same offences at the Maldron Hotel car park, in Tallaght, Dublin on the same date.

Detective Garda Damien O'Farrell told Judge Brendan Toale that he arrested Shodiya at Clondalkin Garda station at 9.26am yesterday.

He made "no reply" to any of the charges after he was cautioned, the court heard. Emer O'Sullivan, solicitor for Shodiya, told the court that she was not making any bail application and she said her client was applying for legal aid.

She provided the court with a statement of his finances and agreed to the application being deferred while Gardai investigated his means.

Judge Toale deferred the legal aid application for Shodiya who was wearing a hoodie and jeans and remained silent during the proceedings.

Detective Eoin Roche of the Garda National Drugs Unit told the court he arrested Hopkins yesterday morning at 10.32am at Clondalkin Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act.

Hopkins was wearing a grey hooded jacket with an open- neck blue shirt and navy jeans; he did not address the court during the brief hearing yesterday.

Judge Toale remanded both men, who have not yet indicated how they will plead to the charges, in custody to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on July 5 next.

A third man is still in Garda custody today in connection with the cocaine haul.