Men jailed over €5m Cork drug smuggling

Tue, Jun 26, 2012, 01:00

TWO MEN have each been jailed for eight years for their part in an international drugs smuggling operation after they were caught “red handed” by gardaí unpacking almost €5 million worth of cocaine at a lock-up in Co Cork.

Seán O’Donovan (45) and Richard Deutschenbaur (56) both pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last March to the single charge of possessing some €4.8 million worth of cocaine for sale or supply at Ballinakilla, Bartlemy on October 13th, 2011.

At sentencing yesterday, Supt Mick Comyns said O’Donovan, from Ballinakilla, and Deutschenbaur, a German national with an address in Alinggas, Sweden, were caught “red-handed” unpacking more than 68kg of the drug.

The drugs, which originated in Bolivia, were shipped to Cork via Rotterdam hidden in a consignment of 28 pallets of tinned pineapples and two days after their arrival in Cork port, on September 28th, 2011, they were collected by a truck provided by O’Donovan.

The drugs were brought to the lock-up at Bartlemy which was owned by O’Donovan’s company, O’Donovan Logistics (ODL), and O’Donovan and Deutschenbaur were taking apart the struts of the pallets to remove the drugs when gardaí raided the unit.

The consignment of pineapples was imported by Almar Marketing, a company set up by O’Donovan who had used the names of two former Hungarian employees as directors but they had no knowledge of the drug smuggling and were innocent of any involvement in it.

O’Donovan and Deutschenbaur had met in prison in the Netherlands in 1994 when they were serving sentences for drugs offences while Deutschenbaur also had a conviction for drug offences in Germany, said Supt Comyns. They were due to be paid a total of €300,000 for their part in the smuggling operation.