Drugs suspect to remain in custody

A VIETNAMESE national accused of having drugs in his possession for sale and supply to others and cultivation of drugs was remanded in custody at Kilkenny Circuit Court.

A VIETNAMESE national accused of having drugs in his possession for sale and supply to others and cultivation of drugs was remanded in custody at Kilkenny Circuit Court.

Hung Viet Nguyen, who has no fixed address, is accused of the offences at Ballinacurra, Mooncoin on November 11, 2010.

Garda Tom Gahan told the court that he had obtained fingerprints from the suspect and had forwarded them onto Interpol in Dublin, who had sent them on to Interpol’s European headquarters.

The garda said there were five different identities found for the suspect in Paris and another five identities found in Berlin.

“The defendant also has no passport and there is no record of him entering the country. Enquiries were carried out by the Garda Immigration Bureau but no identity was provided by the defendant to gardai. If he gets bail he is a flight risk,” he said.

Garda Gahan also told the court that he had been in contact with the Vietnamese authorities on three occasions since last November but had not received any information from them.

The court also heard that the defendant had been in custody in Cork prison since November 2010.

“Often people who come to Ireland without a passport have been exploited themselves and are poor,” the defence barrister said, adding that her client has a wife and two children.

Judge Alice Doyle told the court that the gardai had indicated that the defendant is at flight risk and has no passport and that there is no record of him entering the jurisdiction.

“His true identity has not been given to gardai and he could write to his family in Vietnam and ask them to send over his papers. Fresh enquiries should also be made with the Vietnamese authorities,” said Judge Doyle before refusing the bail application and remanding the defendant to the next Circuit Court sittings in February.