Jury sees man break down in tears during garda interview
on 30/10/2013 18:16:03
In the video, father-of-four Abraham Shodiya (aged 44) revealed he had helped his boss, Gareth Hopkins, unload timber flooring from a container delivered by lorry from Dublin Port.
He said when he saw "white stuff" concealed inside the planks, he asked himself: "What is this guy (Hopkins) up to?"
He began to cry at this point of his interview.
Detective Garda Oliver Hackett of the Garda National Drugs Unit then asked him if he would agree he was "thrown into the sea with the sharks?" Mr Shodiya nodded and broke down again.
The accused, of Carnlough Road, Cabra, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of possessing cocaine for sale or supply and two charges of possessing cocaine at Enterprises Services Unit 1, Old Quarry Campus, North West Business Park, Ballycoolin and Maldron Hotel, Kiltipper on June 26, 2012.
Mr Shodiya told gardaí he didn't admit he knew about the drugs during a first interview because he had been "shocked".
He said he considered Hopkins, who has already been dealt with by the courts, a "family friend" and had worked for his SOS Recycling firm since 2007 without incident.
The accused man revealed he hadn't known his boss was into "shady business".
He said Hopkins gave him a "simple phone; very basic and no camera" days before a lorry delivered the container into a yard in Dublin.
Mr Shodiya used this phone to communicate with Hopkins and the lorry driver.
He told gardaí all he saw was wood when Hopkins opened the container. He helped unload the timber flooring until his boss decided to open one of the planks with a chisel, revealing the "white stuff" packed inside.
When gardaí asked him if he knew the different types of drugs he replied: "No, I haven't a clue which is which."
Mr Shodiya described how he helped unload drugs through the night. He was instructed next day to drive a trailer with a pallet of the drugs to an industrial estate and later go to Belgard Road in Tallaght with four packages from a plank.
He said he met a taxi at B&Q car park and gave the driver the packages.
The following day he was instructed to take drugs to Tallaght and to "town". He said he went to the Ballycoolin warehouse, took 25kg of drugs from the wooden boards using a hammer and screwdriver and put them in bags in a wheelie bin.
He put 25 timber pieces containing drugs into another wheelie bin.
Mr Shodiya was delivering the first batch of cocaine when gardaí stopped and arrested him. He said Hopkins had never discussed any extra money with him besides his normal €2,000 per month cash-in-hand.
The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of nine men and three women.