Man jailed for five years after €600,000 worth of cannabis found in van

Polish man was to be paid €2,500 to smuggle the drugs into Ireland on ferry from France

  was approached by a gang in France and asked to bring the drugs to Ireland, the court heard. File photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Ltd

was approached by a gang in France and asked to bring the drugs to Ireland, the court heard. File photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Ltd

 

A 22-year-old courier who was approached by a gang in France to bring over €600,000 worth of drugs to Ireland has been jailed for five years after he was caught bringing the drugs off the Roscoff-Cork ferry.

Kamil Wlizlo from Piekne, Elk in Poland pleaded guilty to importing €618,000 worth of cannabis herb into the State at Ringaskiddy Ferry Port in Cork on March 9th, 2021, contrary to Section 15 B of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

Det Garda Dermot Crowley of the Cork City Divisional Drugs Squad told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that customs officers were carrying out a number of inspections of vehicles disembarking from the Brittany Ferries ship, Armorique.

Wlizlo was the sole occupant of a VW Crafter van and customs officers noticed some furniture in the back but when they examined it more closely they noticed that some panelling had recently been fitted in the rear of the van.

They drilled a hole in the panelling, releasing a strong smell of cannabis herb. When they removed the panelling they found some 30.9kg of drugs in 37 different packets, worth a total street value of €618,850.

Wlizlo was arrested and taken to Togher Garda Station for questioning and, over the course of a number of interviews, he told gardaí he was approached by a gang near Bordeaux who offered to pay him to bring some items to Cork.

He initially thought that they were paying him to smuggle cigarettes into Ireland but later realised that it was drugs that he was being asked to bring to Ireland and he was to be paid €2,500 but he never received the money.

Wlizlo, who has his own transportation company in Poland, was instructed to drive to Dublin upon disembarking at Ringaskiddy and told he would be intercepted by another vehicle en route and the drugs would be removed.

Cross-examined by defence barrister, Emmet Boyle BL, Det Garda Crowley said that Wlizlo was co-operative at interview, made admissions and gave gardaí a pin number for his mobile phone to assist them in their investigation.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin acknowledged that Wlizlo had been co-operative at interview and had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage but it was still a serious offence given the amount of drugs involved.

“It is a very serious offence given the value of the drugs – in excess of €600,000, – which he knowingly brought into the State.

“He comes from a country where drug use is also prohibited so he knew what he was doing.”

He acknowledged that Wlizlo had no connections with Ireland and it was his first visit here so it would be more difficult for him to receive visits in prison, as he sentenced him to five years in jail, backdated to March 9th last.