Gardaí arrested a Belfast pensioner at Busáras in Dublin over a seizure of more than €300,000 worth of the drug MDMA.

Over 5kgs of the drug were found stashed in boxes of pottery and toys after a Bus Éireann coach arrived in the city centre on Monday.

Chinese-born Peter Lam (78) from Lisburn Road, Belfast, was arrested while he allegedly retrieved boxes from a storage compartment. He appeared at Dublin District Court on Wednesday charged with possessing drugs for sale or supply.

Garda Kieran Stapleton said, when charged, Lam replied: “I have nothing to say.” Gda Stapleton objected to bail due to the seriousness of the case.

The garda estimated the MDMA was worth €320,000, adding that there was a possibility of further charges.

Gda Stapleton alleged Mr Lam travelled on Bus Éireann from the North with boxes stored in the undercarriage. A significant quantity of white power was found in pottery and under padding and children’s toys. It has been confirmed to contain MDMA, he said.

He told Judge Bryan Smyth the accused was a Chinese citizen and lived outside the jurisdiction.

Defence solicitor Michael French said his client denied all knowledge of the drugs. The pensioner was a UK citizen and lived in Belfast for 60 years, Mr French said.

Vulnerable

The solicitor submitted that his client would be vulnerable in custody due to his age, and he had been on medication.

He argued the case would likely go to the Circuit Court, where the trial may not be heard for another two or three years. He added an address could be found in the jurisdiction, and he would obey bail terms.

Judge Smyth set bail in his bond of €1,000 and required €20,000 to be approved. He remanded him in custody with consent to bail to appear at Cloverhill District Court next Wednesday.

His solicitor said Mr Lam would not be able to take it up very soon and legal aid was granted.

Once released, he will have to provide an address approved by the garda and a contact phone number, obey a curfew, sign on daily at a Garda station and not apply for a passport.