A DUBLIN-based Brazilian and an escort from Sao Paolo have been remanded in custody after airport customs officers intercepted a crate containing €740,000 worth of cocaine.
The Ublin 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 Pamela Da Silva, 28, who has 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 unlawful possession and importation of cocaine and having it for sale or supply. Ms. Da Silva has an additional charge for possession of false immigration documents.
The defendants listened to the proceedings with the assistance of an interpreter.
Garda Peter Morrison told Judge Simms that Ms Da Silva made several responses when she was charged at Ballymun station.
The court heard that she told Garda Morrison, “These drugs weren’t mine.”
Another response was, “No, because the drugs weren’t mine, I don’t know. The only thing I do is be an escort in Brazil; if I want, I’ll be an escort here, but that wouldn’t be my intention.”
In response to the false identity accusations, she said: “They provided me with false documents to show the immigration officer. I only realized they were false when I arrived at the airport, I never intended to produce false documents”.
She got legal aid and her attorney John O’Doherty told Judge Simms there was no bail application at this stage.
Judge Simms took her into custody to appear again on Friday.
Garda Ross Brierley told the court his co-defendant, Mr Pedrucci, did not respond to the charges.
Garda Brierley opposed bail due to flight risk fears and added that Mr Pedrucci could face a sentence of up to 14 years.
He is said to have traveled with a companion from Sao Paulo via Lisbon and landed at Terminal One just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
The woman was stopped by immigration because she had a non-EU passport. The accused, traveling on an EU passport, continued and waited.
Customs 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 turned out to be “cocaine in liquid form” and worth €140,000.
Garda Brierley said the man was caught in the act.
Questioned by defense attorney Michael French, he said the weight and value of the drugs were estimates by customs officials from “presumptive tests”.
He agreed he had not yet been tested by Forensic Science Ireland, which carries out drug testing for the criminal justice system.
The garda confirmed that Mr Pedrucci denied knowing the contents of the suitcases he said were given to him by people in Brazil.
He also claimed the shampoo bottles were for the wife of a friend, a hairdresser in Ireland.
Mr French said his client had lived in Ireland since 2015 and was now offering Saggart an address.
The lawyer said the man, who may not stand trial until 2025, was eager to get bail and would appear in court.
However, Judge Simms deemed the objections well made and he refused to grant Mr Pedrucci bail. He was taken into custody to appear again on Friday.
Instructions from the DPP must be obtained.