European drugs gang targets immigrants

An eastern European drugs gang is forcing newly arrived immigrants to sell drugs around the country, threatening harm to their families at home.

Rustam Riabov, aged 19, was here just two weeks when he was ordered to go to Limerick to sell heroin, Limerick District Court heard yesterday.

The Lithuanian national was caught with 10 bags of heroin and €205 when he was stopped by gardaí in the city centre on Sep 8.

He told gardaí he received €4 for each bag he sold.

Garda David Boland said the former fish factory worker had come to Ireland in the hope of work, but had no sooner arrived in Dublin when he was told to go to Limerick by an organised Lithuanian gang involved in the supply of drugs in Ireland.

The modus operandi of this gang was to instruct the newly arrived immigrants to a particular city or town and “to keep selling drugs until they are caught”.

If they get bail they are moved to other towns.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly asked if Lithuanian diplomatic authorities were aware young immigrants were “being trapped like this”.

Garda Boland said information is being shared with other drug units across the country and Interpol has also been notified.

Riabov pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and possession of heroin for sale or supply.

Judge O’Kelly imposed a six-month jail sentence, suspending the final four.

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