Drugs haul accused urged to come clean over identification

A woman and juvenile charged in connection with a major drugs raid that took place nearly two weeks ago have been strongly urged to show proof of identification and further remanded in custody.

Thuy Nguyen Thi (37 ) of no fixed abode, and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, were brought again in custody before Galway District Court on Monday. The Vietnamese nationals are both charged with possession of drugs, possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at Bullaun, Cummer, Tuam, on September 15 last.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that the directions of the DPP were not yet ready adding that the charges relate to “a very large quantity of cannabis plants”.

Thi and the juvenile first appeared before the court on Monday September 17 last, after they were arrested along with four men, also Vietnamese nationals, and all six were charged in connection with drugs raids at different locations in Galway county, resulting in the seizure of cannabis plants worth an estimated €750,000.

Referring to a report by Oberstown Boys School, a designated remand centre for boys under 17, Judge Mary Fahy noted that the opinion of the social worker was that the male defendant is not a juvenile but is actually over 18.

“We believe this man is at least 22,” said Inspector Mick Coppinger, adding that there were other concerns in relation to the identity of both defendants. “It’s a terrible abuse of the facility if this person is 22 and taking up the bed of a boy that needs it. I would strongly urge them to progress the identification issue,” said the inspector.

“There is nothing that would be gained in the long run, they need to show some identification,” said Judge Fahy who then further remanded Thi in custody by consent to appear in court October 22 for DPP directions, while the juvenile was further remanded in custody by consent to October 8. Legal aid was also granted in relation to both defendants.

Four co-accused appeared in court last week. Son Thianh Trinh (50 ) of no fixed abode was charged with possession of drugs, possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at Ballygally Glann Road, Oughterard, on September 15, 2012. Also brought before the court were Van Dung Le (48 ) and Tuan Tran (37 ) both with an address given as Ballygally Glan Road, Oughterard. Le is charged with two counts of possession of drugs, and one count of possession with intent to sell or supply, while Tran is charged with possession of drugs, possession with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at their address on September 15 last. A fourth man, Ngugen Nam (29 ) of no fixed abode is charged with possession of drugs, possession with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at Addergoole Beg, Garraufauns, Dunmore, on the same date.

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