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Eighth Man Charged In Connection With €150m Cocaine Seizure Claims He Is Innocent

File image: Rolling News

Filipino national told court he was tricked and 'deserve to be freed'

A man charged in relation to the investigation into the largest seizure of drugs in the history of the state has appeared in court in Cork.

He is the 8th person to appear before the courts after the Army Ranger Wing boarded the cargo ship MV Matthew off the Cork coast on Tuesday the 26th of September.

There was a heightened Garda presence outside Middleton District Court for today’s 10:30 sitting.

30-year-old Filipino Harold Estoesta stands charged with conspiracy to possess and supply over €13,000 worth of cocaine.

Detective Garda Redmond O’Leary told the court that Estoesta was arrested on board the MV Matthew cargo ship at Marino Point yesterday.

Detective O’Leary said when the charge was put to him, Estoesta said “I believe that I just followed the orders of my seniors. I was also tricked and informed these were spare parts. I wish to defend myself against accusations. I believe I was innocent and deserve to be free.”

Bail cannot be granted in the District Court in this case and Judge Colm Roberts remanded Estoesta in custody to appear before Mallow District court via video link next Tuesday

Defence solicitor Aidan Desmond told the court that he has been in contact with the Philipines consulate and asked that his client be allowed to meet with their officials.

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