herald

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Trucker charged after gardai find €1.8m of drugs in vehicle

Alvydus Simkus was charged
Alvydus Simkus was charged

A Lithuanian haulage driver has been charged in relation to an estimated €1.8m drug seizure at Dublin Port on Saturday.

Alvydus Simkus (55) appeared before Judge Alan Mitchell at a special sitting of Dublin District Court yesterday morning.

He faced six charges, three for possession and three for possession for sale or supply, of cocaine, MDMA powder and ketamine discovered as part of a joint operation conducted by the Revenue's Customs Service and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau targeting drug importations through the port.

Detective Garda Ronan Doolan gave evidence of arrest charge and caution and said that when charged Mr Simkus made no reply.

Det Garda Doolan said Mr Simkus was driving a truck which arrived on a ferry from Liverpool. He was stopped by customs officers and the vehicle searched.

Recovered

Det Garda Doolan said two boxes were uncovered in the cab of the truck and another was recovered from a compartment attached to the cab.

It was alleged that three types of drugs - ketamine, cocaine and MDMA powder - were recovered and the seizure was worth €1.8m, the detective said.

The detective agreed with defence solicitor Andrew Vallely that the case could take some time to prepare.

Simkus's solicitor told judge Mitchell that a substantial surety could be lodged to court given time and that his client would agree, as conditions of bail, to surrender his passport, sign on twice daily at a garda station, supply a mobile phone number to Gardai, obey a curfew, consent to be called upon by Gardai, and promise to remain in the country.

Mr Vallely said his client is a married father of two grown up children in third level education, was a truck driver by trade, and had not been in court on serious charges before.

Judge Mitchell denied bail but granted legal aid, and remanded Simkus to Cloverhill prison to appear again on April 6. Simkus sat quietly in the court listening through an interpreter throughout the hearing.

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