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remanded in custody Taxi driver accused of having €440k worth of cannabis following search of two cars in Dublin

Kuong Io Ieong was allegedly seen throwing a bag of cannabis into the boot of one car

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Co-accused Barry Fowler

Co-accused Barry Fowler

Co-accused Barry Fowler

A TAXI driver has been accused of having €444,000 worth of cannabis after organised crime detectives searched two cars in Dublin.

Kuong Io Ieong (51) was allegedly seen throwing a bag of cannabis into the boot of one car before more was found in a follow up search of another vehicle.

He then told gardai about a third movement of the drug, the three totalling 22kg in weight, Dublin District Court heard today.

Judge Michael Walsh remanded him in custody with consent to cash bail of €12,000.

Mr Ieong, a father-of-two with an address at The Commons, Duleek, Co Meath is charged with three counts of possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply, on two dates. One offence was alleged to have happened at an unknown location on May 14. The other two allegedly took place at Old Bawn Road, Tallaght and College Court Apartments, King’s Inn Street, Dublin 1 on May 24.

A co-accused, Barry Fowler (35) of Millbrook Lawns, Tallaght appeared in the same court charged with possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply at Old Bawn Road on May 24. His solicitor Michael Hennessy said he was not making a bail application today and Judge Walsh remanded him in custody for a week.

Mr Ieong's solicitor Stephen O'Mahony applied for bail on his behalf today.

Objecting to bail, Garda Dave Moran said on May 24, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau conducted an intelligence-led operation focused on a Dublin-based crime gang involved in the sale and supply of drugs.

It was alleged Mr Ieong was seen placing a bag into the boot of a car at Old Bawn Road and when this was searched, it contained 7kg of cannabis. The accused was stopped a short distance away and further enquiries led to a car that was parked in the underground car park at College Court apartments.

Some 16kg of the drug was found in these two seizures, with an estimated value of €320,000. The garda alleged the accused was “caught red-handed.” In the course of his detention Mr Ieong told gardai about another alleged handover of 6kg of cannabis with an estimated value of €124,000 at an unknown location on May 14, Gda Moran said.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony said the accused, who was presumed innocent, was from Macau in China but was an EU national with a Portuguese passport and had legal status in Ireland, where he had lived for 20 years.

He was married but separated and had a long work record in this jurisdiction.

Mr O’Mahony said it was a case that would be going forward to the circuit court based on the quantities of alleged drugs, which would require analysis. There were significant delays in this at the moment, he said.

A friend of the accused was prepared to act as an independent surety and Mr Ieong would abide by any bail conditions, Mr O’Mahony said.

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Judge Walsh granted bail in the accused’s own cash bond of €2,000, with an independent surety of €15,000, of which €10,000 is to be lodged in cash.

Under conditions, he must live at the central Dublin address provided, sign on at a garda station, surrender his passport and provide a contact phone number to gardai.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear in Cloverhill District Court on June 2, the same date as Mr Fowler.

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