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Two charged in connection with suitcase full of cocaine

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Two charged in connection with suitcase full of cocaine

TWO men have been charged following a seizure of almost €500,000 worth of cocaine in Dublin.

Gardai from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau arrested the pair following searches of a vehicle in Ballyfermot and a premises in west Dublin on Thursday.

Thomas Knowles, 55, from Knockriada, Chapelizod, Dublin and 34-year-old Mark McHugh with an address at Woodhaven, Clondalkin, Dublin, made no reply when they were charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act with possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Both are alleged to have been in possession of cocaine at Kylemore Road, in Ballyfermot. Mr Knowles has an additional charge for possessing cocaine at his home address on the same date.

They appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court  today and were remanded custody with consent to bail in their own bonds of €10,000.

Judge Walsh also said to to take up bail they must have independent sureties in the sum of €15,000 for Mr Knowles and €10,000 for Mr McHugh. Some of the bail money would have to be lodged in cash, the judge directed.

Gardai had objected to bail.

Det Garda John Paul Carroll said Mr Knowles, an unemployed plasterer, faces a serious charge and is accused of possessing seven kilos of cocaine which has an estimated street value of €490,000.

He said the 55-year-old, who is in receipt of a disability allowance, was caught “red-handed”. However, he agreed with defence solicitor Niall O'Connor that the accused, a father-of-three adult children, was not a flight risk and was of limited means.

Det Garda Aisling Hobbs said Mr McHugh, an unemployed father-of-three was caught red-handed in possession of €70,000 worth of cocaine and it was likely there would be further charges.

Judge Walsh said that if the pair take up bail they must sign on at their local garda stations, provide gardai with a contact number, surrender their passports and not apply for duplicate travel documents.

They will face their next hearing on April 17 at Cloverhill District Court.