Nigerian national who was paid €4,000 to carry €65,000 worth of cocaine capsules internally has been jailed for six years for transporting the drugs into Ireland.
Chika Chima Oluga (aged 24), with an address at North West Street, Wichita, Kansas, was contacted by a fellow national while he was working and living in America. He was advised that a man called “Sunny” would pay him to bring the drugs into Ireland and cover his expenses.
Oluga then flew to Senegal where he swallowed the capsules before he flew to Paris and then onto to Dublin.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to having the cocaine for sale or supply at Dublin Airport on November 21, 2008. Oluga had no previous convictions in Ireland or any other jurisdiction.
Judge Desmond Hogan said that Oluga got involved in the offence “simply for money” but took into account that it was his intention to send the cash back to his family in Nigeria to help better their situation.
He accepted that Oluga was at the “lower end of the pecking order” and had a lower IQ than average but added that “he still knew what he was doing and that what he was doing was wrong”.
Garda Declan Phelan told Ms Tara Burns BL, prosecuting, that Oluga was stopped by custom officials when he arrived in Ireland and brought in for a drug search when he gave “evasive replies” to their initial questioning.
A urine sample tested positive for cocaine and he admitted that he was carrying drugs internally.
He was taken to hospital after he complained of stomach cramps during garda interview. He passed all the capsules there.
Mr Gerry O’Brien SC, (with Mr Cathal McGreal BL), defending, said it was not a sophisticated offence in that Oluga’s activity had immediately raised suspicions.
He said his client accepts that he got involved for the money but said it was in order to help his family back in Nigeria. Oluga has still been sending money back home which he has earned while on remand in prison.