Suspended sentence over fish stuffed with cannabis

Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 00:00

A man was in court yesterday for his part in a drug smuggling operation where fish from Africa were stuffed with cannabis and shipped to Ireland.

Fidel Kalala (43) who is originally from the Congo was also caught with cannabis herb hidden in his car outside his home in north Dublin. The court heard he was the "forwarding person" in Ireland for the drugs and at a low level in the operation.

Customs officials intercepted a package which had a strong smell coming from it. On opening it they discovered several fish which were stuffed with cannabis herb, the court heard.

Kalala of Castlefield Woods, Clonsilla, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at his home on March 4th, 2009.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said "illegality had come to Kalala rather than he went looking for it". Judge Ring said a probation report indicated that Kalala was at "a low risk of reoffending" due to his stable employment and family background. She took into account the fact that he had no previous convictions and has not come to Garda attention since. She imposed a five-year term which she suspended in full.