A Congolese national with Belgian citizenship has received a five-year sentence with three suspended for importing €17,800 of cannabis herb to Ireland.
Bonza Chigeragere (aged 28) with an address at Nicholas Avenue, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty to importation and possessing the drugs in his luggage at Dublin Airport on May 9, 2009.
Mr Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, submitted to Judge Frank O’Donnell that though his client had been working in Belgium at the time of the offence, he told gardaí that third parties had been violent with him and promised him €500 so he would carry out the job.
Customs officers searched Chigeragere’s bags on foot of confidential information on the day and found the cache in two foil packages covered in coffee paste.
Mr Le Vert submitted that his client, a father-of-two originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had expressed his regret to gardaí and had apologised profusely to the people of Ireland for his offence.
He submitted Chigeragere had given “specific and helpful” information to gardaí on arrest and had said someone in Dublin was to look out for his hat and take the drugs off him.
Mr Le Vert said his client was upset and ashamed of his actions.
Judge O’Donnell told Chigeragere not to return to Ireland with drugs in future.