Former CIE bus driver Sunny Idah — jailed for 15 years yesterday — was nabbed when he tried to recruit TWO GARDAI to swallow a kilo of cocaine each and smuggle it from Brazil to Dublin.
He promised them 5,000 each if they gulped down 100 ten-gramme pellets of the compressed drug.
Cocaine from South America is usually 80 per cent pure and a kilo can be cut with mixing agents, quadrupling its 70,000 value to 280,000.
An informed source said: “Idah was operating in Ireland for ten years and recruiting up to two mules a week.
“If he was bringing in two kilos a week over the last decade that equates to 1,000 kilos or 4,000 kilos when it’s cut with mixing agents.
“He potentially flooded Ireland with 280million worth of cocaine. No one will ever know exactly. He’s not going to tell.”
Idah, 36, with an address in Temple Bar, Dublin, was targeted by the Garda National Drugs Unit and secretly recorded offering the two cops money to smuggle drugs.
The officers — who were referred to in court as UC1 and UC2 to protect their identities — met him several times between September 14 and 19, 2010.
He gave them tickets to fly to Rio de Janeiro where they were to meet a contact and swallow the drugs.
Idah, who has Irish and Nigerian nationality, mainly recruited young Eastern European women to do his dirty work with the deadly drug.
He was part of a worldwide Nigerian smuggling ring operating in 50 countries.
A source said: “He was in charge of the Irish end of it.
“This was a fantastic result for the GNDU. The message is loud and clear — if you choose to carry out this type of activity in Ireland you’ll be nabbed.”
In sentencing Idah at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge Desmond Hogan said: “He is higher up the chain of command than a simple courier. He was set up in the business of canvassing drug couriers or mules.”
He said Idah’s crimes were “extremely serious” and that he had been “caught red-handed” by undercover cops.
He suspended the last two years of the sentence on the condition Idah keeps the peace and is on good behaviour for five years after his release.