'flight risk' | 

Man suspected of running drugs factory 'had €37k in bedroom'

Mr Kuska was charged with having cannabis with a street value in excess of €39,000

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Conor Feehan

A man suspected of operating a drugs factory from his home in Bray has been remanded in custody on drugs and money laundering charges.

Lukas Kuska (38), with an address at Adelaide Villas in Bray, Co Wicklow, was arrested on Wednesday during a raid by gardaí attached to the Dublin East Divisional Drugs Unit.

They seized combined drugs with a value in excess of €39,000, and €37,450 in cash during the operation.

Mr Kuska appeared before Judge David Kennedy at Bray District Court yesterday charged with possession of cannabis worth an estimated €10,000; possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and money laundering.

Detective Shane McGrath of Blackrock garda station said further charges may be considered after a substance believed to be methamphetamine valued at €29,100 was found, as well as equipment for the manufacture of that drug.

Det McGrath said Mr Kuska made no reply when charged.

He objected to an application for bail due to the seriousness of the charge and said the accused was a potential flight risk.

He said Mr Kuska was not employed but €37,400 was found in his bedroom, and investigations are ongoing into three bank accounts the accused was using.

He said that during questioning Mr Kuska made full admissions of ownership of the drugs and money made from them, having been "caught red-handed".

He said Mr Kuska has no family or relationship ties to Ireland, was using a Polish passport, and could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted on indictment.

Mr Kuska's solicitor said his client had lived in Ireland since 2005 and had worked until three years ago when he was involved in a workplace accident in which he received injuries to his feet.

He said Mr Kuska was alcohol and drug dependent, had co-operated fully with the garda investigation, and would agree to strict conditions to be granted bail.

He said it could be two years before the case was tried at the Circuit Court, Mr Kuska had no convictions, and there was a presumption of innocence. Judge Kennedy refused bail, saying the accused had no ties here by way of family, children or a partner, and a large amount of cash had been seized.

He also said passports are purchasable, and that while he was refusing bail, a High Court application could be made at a future date when gardaí would have more information on the accused's charges and finances.

An application that the accused be afforded medical attention while in custody was granted, but a decision on an application for legal aid was deferred. Mr Kuska was remanded in custody to Cloverhill prison to appear at Bray District Court via videolink on April 28.

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