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Sam Boal/
Ecstasy tablets

Rickshaw driver caught with €4,000 worth of drugs escapes with suspended sentence if she leaves Ireland

Gardaí said the woman’s work as a rickshaw driver drew their attention to her.

A RICKSHAW DRIVER caught with over €4,000 worth of ecstasy tablets has had a prison sentence suspended on condition she leave the country.

Bianca Francisco (21) was caught with the drugs in her flat on May 4, 2017. She was on bail at the time awaiting sentence for a previous offence of holding drugs for sale or supply in November 2016.

Garda Cian Fleming told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Francisco’s work as a rickshaw driver was “what drew our attention to her”.

The Brazilian national, formerly of The Forge, Railway St., Dublin, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession for sale or supply of a controlled substance at her home in May last.

Fleming said that during a search of the flat, gardaí seized MDMA, mainly made up of ecstasy tablets, with an estimated street value of €4,570. They found lesser amounts of cocaine and other controlled drugs.

Gardai also seized weighing scales in a handbag and a white purse containing a total of €1,060 in various denominations.

Francisco told gardaí she was holding the drugs for somebody and said she wasn’t being paid. Fleming said that Francisco was the target of the search in 2017.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said his client came to Ireland in April 2016 to learn English and began working as a cleaner but lost that job.

He said she got a job as rickshaw driver but fell in with bad company. Garda Fleming agreed with counsel that he didn’t believe she is still involved with this company.

Rea said she since got work as an au pair but she wanted to return to Brazil.

Judge Patrick Quinn accepted Francisco was embarrassed and ashamed by her crimes. He said her involvement probably came out of economic necessity but that was not an excuse.

A young person in a strange country who meets up with the wrong people can easily get distracted.

He said it was in her best interests to return to the support of her family. He suspended a 12 month prison sentence on condition that Francisco leave Ireland in the next three months.

Judge Quinn ordered the destruction of the drugs seized and the confiscation of the cash seized.

The court heard that in April 2017, Francisco pleaded guilty to possession for sale or supply of cannabis, cocaine and MDMA. The drugs found on Francisco on November 5, 2016 had an total estimated street value of €1,555.

A Dublin District Court judge ordered her then to carry out 180 hours of community service in lieu of a six month prison sentence.

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