herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Wife of cocaine fugitive wanted for same crime

Aisha Ahmed
Aisha Ahmed

A MOTHER-of-six who is wanted to serve a 20-year sentence in Italy for her part in a multi-million euro drug trafficking conspiracy has been arrested in Dublin.

Aisha Ahmed (49), who has been living in Tallaght, is sought for extradition to be jailed for her part in a cocaine importing operation in Naples 14 years ago.

She is the wife of a taxi driver Yemi Moshood Olatunde (47), who was arrested earlier this week following an international manhunt.

Both maintained they were arrested in cases of mistaken identity but the High Court heard their fingerprints were "absolute matches" for the couple being sought by Interpol.

Mr Justice John Edwards remanded Ahmed in custody yesterday after making the same order in the case of her husband on Wednesday.

He said he was satisfied the woman before the court and Aisha Ahmed were "one and the same person", despite her denials.

The couple's cases have been adjourned pending full extradition proceedings.

Keiran Kelly BL, for the respondent, had argued that the identification documents - fingerprints and a photograph - were not admissible in evidence.

Ahmed's arrest hearing was told the respondent was a naturalised Irish citizen and had been living under the name of Gloria Aro at Sundale Parade, Tallaght. Her husband had been living under the name Roy Yemmy Andrew Aro.

Ahmed's sentence was for the offence of, as promoter, leader or organiser, taking part in an association with the purposes of committing an indefinite number of crimes involving the importation, sale, distribution, trade and illicit possession of "remarkable quantities" of cocaine at locations in Italy between 1999 and 2000.

She had been given a 22-year sentence in 2005 which was later reduced to 20 years.

The court heard a diffusion document - requesting the location and arrest of Ahmed - was sent to the Irish authorities by Interpol in Italy.

Attached were her fingerprints and a her photograph.

Sergeant Jim Kirwan told the court when he went to the respondents' home address on Thursday, she was not at home and he left his card with her family.

He returned yesterday in possession of a European Arrest Warrant and spoke to Ahmed. When asked her name she said she was Gloria Aro and denied that she was also known as Aisha Ahmed.

She gave a date of birth in December 1967 and said she was Nigerian but told him she had never lived in Italy.

passport

Sgt Kirwan showed her the photograph from Interpol and when he asked if it was her, she replied: "No."

Ahmed said she had never been to Italy. She was arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station where she provided fingerprints that matched those of the person being sought.

The court heard she was a naturalised Irish citizen and had a passport in the name of Gloria Anwelika Aro.

She had registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau in the same name when she arrived here.

hnews@herald.ie

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