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Former goalie goes on trial over €3.4m cannabis seizure

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Ex-Leeds goalkeeper Eddie Van Boxtel

Ex-Leeds goalkeeper Eddie Van Boxtel

Ex-Leeds goalkeeper Eddie Van Boxtel

A FORMER Leeds United goalkeeper charged over a €3.4m cannabis seizure was allegedly offered the chance to "make a few bob" by a man he picked up in his taxi.

Eddie van Boxtel (41) claimed he was simply employed by another man to "drive from A to B" after he complained that "the taxi game is dead".

The accused allegedly told detectives he never saw the cannabis resin, but admitted he knew "it wasn't marshmallows" in the back of a van.

A court heard the street value of the drug was €3.45m.

The former soccer star has pleaded not guilty before Kildare Circuit Court to possession of cannabis as well as having the drug for sale or supply on February 6, 2008.

Det Gda Tom Barber alleged that Mr van Boxtel met another man at a garage just outside Newbridge at 6.25am on February 6, 2008.

Gda Barber claimed the pair then drove off in the other man's Audi A6 towards Rathangan Road, where Mr van Boxtel got into a silver Ford Transit van which was parked in a lay-by.

Sgt David Kennedy claimed Mr van Boxtel drove the van to a house at Clongorey, Naas, where he backed it into a shed at the back.

He allegedly drove off a few minutes later towards Rathangan Road and left the van in the same lay-by.

It is alleged that two other men came along a short time later in a Ford Fiesta, one got into the van and they drove off in convey towards Dublin.

PALLET

The van was stopped at the M7 Castlewarden, near Kill, and a pallet containing cannabis was found in the back.

Interviewed by Sgt Kennedy, Mr van Boxtel, of Sillogue Avenue, Ballymun, said he started working as a taxi driver when his football career ended.

One day he complained to a passenger that the "taxi game was dead" and this man took his mobile phone, telling him he could earn a few extra bob as a driver.

During interview, Mr van Boxtel claimed to Sgt Kennedy that he simply "drove from A to B".

He said he did not see who dropped off the Ford Transit or who collected the drugs.

He said he did not put the cannabis into the van at Clongorey and did "not have a clue" what the drug was worth.

Mr van Boxtel played with several League of Ireland clubs, helping Dundalk to win the league in 1995.

His most famous sporting moment came when he saved a penalty from Eric Cantona, who was then playing for Manchester United.

The trial continues before Judge Gerard Griffin.

hnews@herald.ie


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