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Lithuanian trucker refused bail after allegedly importing €1.8m worth of drugs into Dublin

Father-of-two Alvydus Simkus has an address in Limerick.

The drugs were found on a truck coming into Dublin Port.
The drugs were found on a truck coming into Dublin Port.
Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A HAULAGE DRIVER has been refused bail after he appeared in court charged over a seizure of €1.8 million worth of drugs in a search of a truck at Dublin Port.

As part of a joint investigation an operation was conducted by the Revenue’s Customs Service and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau at the port on Saturday.

A man arrested was detained under Section 2 of The Criminal Justice (Drugs Trafficking) Act 1996 at Store Street Garda Station before he was charged and brought to appear before Judge Alan Mitchell at Dublin District Court today.

Father-of-two Alvydus Simkus, of Smith Lane, Cathedral Place, Limerick, faced six charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act for unlawful possession of MDMA, ketamine and cocaine and possessing them with intent to supply, at Dublin Port on 31 March.

Det Garda Ronan Doolan told Judge Mitchell the 55-year-old Lithuanian man, who listened to the proceedings with the help of an interpreter, “made no reply after caution” when he was charged.

The detective objected to bail citing the seriousness of the charges and fears the accused was a flight risk.

Det Garda Doolan said Simkus was driving a truck which arrived on a ferry from Liverpool. He was stopped by customs officers and the vehicle searched.

Det Garda Doolan said two boxes were uncovered in the cab of the truck and another was recovered from a compartment attached to the cab.

It was alleged three types of drugs – ketamine, cocaine and MDMA powder – were recovered and the seizure was worth €1.8 million, the detective said.

He considered the truck driver to be a flight risk due to his occupation and because he was a non-national.

The detective agreed with defence solicitor Andrew Vallely that the case could take some time to prepare. He also accepted Simkus had lived in Ireland since 2005, lived in Limerick with his wife and he supported his family including two children in third-level education.

Pleading for bail, Vallely said his client had an unblemished history in terms of his work and he was “fully grounded” in Limerick.

Det Garda Doolan accepted that if the court granted bail with conditions canvassed by the defence, it would alleviate his fears. He agreed that the defendant could be monitored.

However, he said a cash surety would be required given the significance of the offence.

Judge Mitchell said the prosecution had established its objection that Simkus could attempt to evade justice by reason of the seriousness of the allegations. He refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear again on Friday at Cloverhill District Court.

The judge noted from the defence solicitor that Simkus had no savings and had been reliant on his job from which he earned €500 a week. Legal aid was granted to the trucker who did not address the court.

Read: Man to appear in court over cocaine, heroin and ketamine drug haul at Dublin Port >
Read: Man arrested after cocaine, heroin and ketamine worth €2.5m seized at Dublin Port >

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Tom Tuite

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