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E250,000 of cannabis plants seized in Athy

Two suspected dissident republicans are in Garda custody following a search of a Newbridge house.

Two suspected dissident republicans are in Garda custody following a search of a Newbridge house.

A Vietnamese man was before Naas District Court yesterday (Monday 7 January) on charges in connection with the seizure of E250,000 worth of cannabis plants in Athy.

Tien Tran of Phanhum Pieu, Tran Nguyen Han, Lechan Haiphon, Vietnam, was arrested on the 5th January following a raid on a house in the Lowtown Lane area of Cloney.

When gardai arrived at the house, the man, in his 50s, fled the scene and hid in a ditch where he was later located. The court heard in reply to the arrest, the man said: “I don’t understand the law in Ireland, so I do not know what to say.”

Garda allege the man was involved in the cultivation of cannabis plants with a street value of E250,000. More than 300 plants were seized. The accused informed gardai he did not have a passport, that he arrived into Ireland only 10 days previously and that had no idea what country he was in. “Where did he think was, The Eiffel Tower?” asked Judge Desmond Zaidan. “These are very serious allegations. In the past six months, there has been very significant cannabis cultivation seizures,” he added.

Judge Zaidan remanded the man into custody for seven days to await directions from the Director of Public Prosecution.

- Lisa Deeney

 

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