Accused was 'right-hand man' for drugs boss, court told
on 23/10/2013 17:01:10
Abraham Shodiya (aged 44) of Carnlough Road, Cabra pleaded not guilty to four charges of possession of cocaine for sale or supply and two charges of possession of cocaine at Enterprises Services Unit 1, Old Quarry Campus, North West Business Park, Ballycoolin and Maldron Hotel, Kiltipper on June 26, 2012.
Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting told the jury in his opening address that it is the State's case that Mr Shodiya was the right-hand man and his boss was a man called Gareth Hopkins.
He said that Mr Hopkins has already been dealt with by the courts.
Counsel told the jury that gardaí knew about a consignment of drugs which was expected to be delivered into Dublin Port and had surveillance set up in the area.
The 430 kilogrammes of cocaine, worth an estimated €29m, were hidden inside wooded floor boards which were being shipped in a container.
Gardaí followed the container from Dublin Port to Clonee in Meath and onto Westmanstown in Dublin 15.
Mr Naidoo said that Mr Shodiya arrived in a Toyota Land Cruiser and he and another man separated the wooden floor boards that contained cocaine from those that didn't and these boards were then placed on a pallet and transported to Ballycoolin.
The cocaine was then removed from the floor boards, put into wheelie bins and then taken by Mr Shodiya in his jeep to the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght when gardaí moved in.
Mr Naidoo told the jury it was the State's case that CCTV footage shows Mr Shodiya splitting open some of these planks and taking out the cocaine.
He said Mr Shodiya was arrested and questioned and ultimately admitted that he had been shown how to distinguish the planks that contained cocaine from those that didn't and how to split them open and recover the cocaine.
The jury heard that Mr Shodiya claimed that he didn't know the floor boards contained cocaine until he split them open.
"Mr Hopkins was the boss and this accused his right-hand man," Mr Naidoo said "which the State say means that he is responsible for the drugs."
He said it was the State's case that Mr Shodiya helped to unload the wood at Westmanstown, before he took out the cocaine and moved it to the Maldron Hotel.
The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of nine men and three woman.