Two men suspected by gardaí of being part of an 'international gang' have been remanded in custody charged with stealing some €87,000 of aftershave and perfume from across Ireland.
At a sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Siminica Matei (31), and Surin Aurelian Damaschin (29), both of no fixed abode and of Romanian origin, appeared on charges relating to burglaries across a number of counties.
Presiding, Judge Catherine Staines said that although there were charges relating to Laois, Waterford, Meath, Roscommon, and Tipperary, she had jurisdiction in the case as the men had been arrested in this district.
The State objected to bail, with Detective Garda JP O’Brien outlining the objections.
Det O’Brien gave evidence that on June 1 last, at 4.30am, the front door of Laois Pharmacy smashed. Perfumes and aftershave with a total value of €3,000, as well as €2,000 in cash and the three tills, worth €450 were removed.
He told the court that on July 3, the front window of O'Brien's Pharmacy in Cahir, Co. Tipperary was broken causing €400 damage. Perfumes and aftershave to a value of €40,000, as well as the till and cash to a total of €200 was removed.
On July 4, the front window of Molloys Pharmacy in Roscommon was broken through causing €500 damage. Aftershaves and perfume to a total of €17,000, as well as €150 cash, was removed.
A further incident on June 25, saw Trim Pharmacy, Co Meath broken into with perfumes and aftershaves worth €2,450 taken during the incident.
Det O’Brien said that a total of €87,000 of aftershaves and perfumes was taken in various burglaries. The merchandise has not been recovered.
He said that the State was objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the charges.
Det O’Brien said it was his belief that the incidents may be related to the activities of an 'international gang' who export these stolen goods to Romania, where such perfumes and aftershaves are luxury goods.
Defence for Siminica Matei, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said his client enjoyed the presumption of innocence. He said his client had sourced an address and would surrender his passport.
Defence for Surin Aurelian Damaschin, Mr Philip Meagher said his client could provide an address in Dublin.
However, Judge Catherine Staines said these were extremely serious charges and she refused jurisdiction, remanding the accused in custody to Cloverhill Prison to appear before Cloverhill District Court on July 18 next.