A CONSIGNMENT of cannabis herb, worth an estimated €80,000, was posted from Spain to a house in County Limerick, a court has heard.
A jury at Limerick Circuit Court was told, this Wednesday, that 4.8kgs of the drugs were discovered when a package was intercepted by Customs Officers at Shannon Airport on August 7, last.
Patrick Scanlon, aged 53, who is originally from Loughill and who has an address in Jersey is accused of importing the cannabis, which was subsequently delivered to an address in Pallaskenry by a detective garda “who donned a DHL uniform” and posed as a courier.
It is the prosecution case that Mr Scanlon ‘duped’ an acquaintance of his into accepting the package, which was sent to his home.
Stephen Quinn, who worked as a chef for Mr Scanlon at a restaurant in Limerick city in the 1980s, told the jury the defendant had called to his home a number of months before the drugs were seized asking him to help him open a restaurant in Askeaton.
After the project fell through, Mr Scanlon is then alleged to have asked Mr Quinn if he could send a package containing “bits and bobs” he had bought on ebay for the restaurant to his home as he didn’t have a permanent address.
The jury was told the package, which was addressed to a “David Barry”, was intercepted as a result of routine profiling by customs officer, Lorraine McCarthy at Shannon Airport.
Ms McCarthy told the Court she had concerns about the package because of its weight and because Spain is a “known source for drugs”.
She added that when she checked the Revenue’s system, she found no record of a David Barry living at the address on the package.
Another customs officer, Geraldine Whelan, who examined the package at Shannon said it contained eight vacuum-packed packages which were concealed in items of clothing.
Colin Morrissey, security manager with DHL, told the jury that the package was dropped off at Malaga Airport in Spain just before 1.30pm on August 6, 2012 and that it arrived at Shannon just after 7am the following day having passed through DHL depots in Spain, Belgium and England.
After the package was seized it was handed over to gardai, who carried out a surveillance operation in Pallaskenry while the controlled delivery was made.
Opening the case, Michael Collins BL, prosecuting said it is the State Case that it was Mr Scanlon’s project and strategy to import the drugs.
The trial continues before Judge Caroll Moran.