A Dublin-based Brazilian man and a Sao Paolo escort have been remanded in custody after airport customs officers intercepted a case with €740,000 worth of cocaine.
As the Irish Examiner reports, Dublin District Court heard that the drugs were partly in liquid form, in shampoo bottles.
Gardai arrested Jefferson Pedrucci, 32, of Carrigmore Glen, Saggart, Dublin, and 28-year-old Pamela Da Silva, who is of no fixed address, after their flight landed at Dublin Airport on Thursday evening.
They appeared before Judge Dermot Simms on Saturday.
They were charged with unlawfully possessing and importing cocaine and having it for sale or supply. Ms Da Silva has an additional charge for carrying false immigration documents.
The defendants listened to the proceedings with the aid of an interpreter.
Garda Peter Morrison told Judge Simms that Ms Da Silva made several replies when charged at Ballymun Station.
The court heard she told Garda Morrison: “Those drugs weren’t mine”.
Another answer was: "No, because the drugs were not mine, I don't know anything about them. The only thing I do is be an escort in Brazil; if I want to, I would be an escort here, but that would not be my intention."
In response to the fake identity charges, she said: "They provided me false documents to show the immigration officer. I only realised they were false when I got to the airport, it was never my intention to produce false documentation."
She was granted legal aid, and her solicitor John O'Doherty told Judge Simms there was no application for bail at this stage.
Judge Simms remanded her in custody to appear again on Friday.
Garda Ross Brierley told the court that her co-accused Mr Pedrucci made no reply to the charges.
Garda Brierley objected to bail due to flight risk fears and added that Mr Pedrucci could face a sentence of up to 14 years. He allegedly travelled with a female companion from Sao Paolo via Lisbon and landed at Terminal One just after 4.30pm on Thursday.
The woman was stopped by immigration because she had a non-EU passport. The accused, travelling on an EU passport, carried on and waited.
Custom officers X-rayed their suitcases, containing 8.5 kilos of cocaine worth €600,000. In addition, there were two bottles of shampoo, weighing two kilos, which was found to be "cocaine in liquid form" and valued at €140,000. Garda Brierley said the man was caught red-handed.
Questioned by defence solicitor Michael French, he said the drug weight and value were estimations of custom officers from "presumptive testing".
He agreed that it has not yet been tested by Forensic Science Ireland, which carries out drug analysis for the criminal justice system. The garda confirmed Mr Pedrucci denied knowing the contents of suitcases he claimed were given to him by people in Brazil.
He also maintained the shampoo bottles were for a friend's wife, a hairdresser in Ireland.
Mr French said his client had lived in Ireland since 2015 and now offered an address in Saggart.
The solicitor said the man, who may not face trial until 2025, was anxious to get bail and would turn up to court. However, Judge Simms ruled that the objections were well made, and he refused to grant Mr Pedrucci bail. He was remanded in custody to appear again on Friday.
Directions from the DPP have to be obtained.