BREAKING – Man who solicited undercover gardaí to swallow cocaine to be sentenced later today
Sunny Idah, 36, of Gerard House, Brown Street, London has been found guilty on two charges of soliciting two undercover gardaí to travel to Brazil to swallow cocaine pellets and bring them back to Ireland. He will be sentenced later today.
Idah was the subject of a an an elaborate undercover operation between An Garda Síochána and the Swiss police.
Under the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008, the prosecution and defence teams went to Geneva last December where they heard evidence from an undercover agent about his communication with Idah.
The agent, who had assumed the identity of a known Lithuanian drug dealer, gave evidence of email communication between himself and Idah. Idah used an Irish email address to communicate with this undercover agent.
A large volume of emails were exchanged in which Idah attempted to recruit drug mules from the agent. The swiss operative suggested two people who were flying into Dublin on September 4, 2010.
The testimony of the agent was heard under an assumed name and from behind a one-way mirror so that his identity could be protected.
An Garda Síochána then liaised with the Swiss authorities and placed two gardaí undercover to pose as the named drug mules.
The two gardaí flew into Dublin airport on September 14 and went to the Airport Regency Hotel on the Swords Road. They then contacted Idah on a number provided to them by the Swiss police.
Numerous phone calls and face-to-face meetings ensued over the coming days between the undercover gardaí and Idah, all of which were recorded and monitored.
These recordings were played out for the jury during the trial and the transcripts were also read into the record.
Idah denied to the gardaí during interviews that he had anything to do with drug trafficking.
The jury were told that Idah assumed the alias of “Teemore” or “Mr T” but defence for Idah disputed this. The gardaí were given €200 each and valid tickets for their flights to Brazil, and they were also told there was accommodation booked for them in Hotel Formule 1 in Sao Paolo.
In one email sent to the Swiss agent, Idah said “his boys would get “€500 for eating” or “€800 for a bag”.
During the trial the jury also heard that Idah had over 20 international numbers in his mobile phone at the time of his arrest. There were telephone numbers for people in Greece, Belgium, Spain, Guinea, Argentina, Morocco, Mali, Turkey, South Africa and Portugal, amongst others.