herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Smugglers hid cocaine in their matching shoes

A Costa Rican chef and Nigerian hematologist who met on an online dating website have been jailed for importing over €67,000 of cocaine hidden in the soles of their shoes.

Costa Rican mother-of-three Gerly Juarez (37) claimed her lover, Kingsley Edward (44), bought her the shoes and told her to wear them as they set off for a holiday in Ireland. He wore an identical set himself.

Edward, who previously served a seven and a half year sentence for a similar offence in the UK, told gardai he was €30,000 in debt from his electrical goods importation business in Lagos.

Edward, a UK citizen, pleaded guilty to possessing 544g of cocaine worth €38,108 for sale or supply at Dublin Airport Terminal 1 on April 15, 2014.

Supply

Juarez, from San Jose, pleaded guilty to possessing 427g of the drug worth €29,100 for sale or supply at the same location and date. She has no previous convictions.

The garda agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, defending Juarez, that his client told customs officials she had never taken drugs in her life and that her voluntary urine sample had been negative.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring commented that Juarez's children have suffered from her being in custody.

She imposed a five-year sentence backdated to when Juarez entered custody in April and suspended the final four years.

The judge deemed Edward previous conviction as an aggravating factor and sentenced him to seven years in jail with the final four years suspended. She ordered that he leave Ireland within 48 hours of his release and not return for ten years.

hnews@herald.ie

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