Pubdate: Sun, 08 Jul 2001
DRUG 'MULES' ARE JUST DOWN ON THEIR LUCK
A woman has told gardai that she got involved in the flourishing drug trade between Ireland and Africa to raise enough money to send her son to a good school.
Gardai say that most of the 'mules' who courier drugs for mainly Nigerian gangs are not career criminals just individuals who are down on their luck and need some extra funds.
So far this year, 16 South African nationals have been arrested at Dublin Airport for importing drugs into Ireland. The same figure for the whole of last year was 12 and this increase is beginning to worry gardai who are attempting to crack down on the escalating drug trade between South Africa and Ireland's capital city.
The trade has become a multi-million pound business, with the Nigerian gangs taking over the Irish cannabis trade. Within the past week alone, a 28-year-old South African woman arrested at Dublin Airport was found with 15 kilograms of cannabis which had a street value of pounds 30,000, while a 25-year-old South African man had pounds 40,000 worth of the drug.
The 28-year-old was the seventh South African woman to be arrested and charged with the importation of drugs since the beginning of this year, while the 25-year-old was the ninth South African man to be arrested in the same period.
For each trip, the individual the 'drug mule' is paid 10,000 Rand between pounds 1000 and pounds 1,250.