Man arrested at NI airport ‘was drug fugitive’

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A man wanted over alleged drugs crimes in the Republic of Ireland has been living in Spain, a court in Belfast heard on Thursday.

Gerard Ryan allegedly fled after the suspected offences were committed in the Limerick area back in 2014, a judge was told.

Ryan, a 26-year-old Irishman, was arrested at Belfast International Airport early this morning after arriving on a flight from Alicante.

He was held on a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Republic.

As he appeared before Belfast Recorders’ Court it was revealed that he is being sought in connection with five “significant” drugs charges.

The alleged offences relate to possessing cocaine and diamorphine for the purposes of supply.

A lawyer representing the Irish state said: “It’s felt the requested person absconded immediately after the offences.

“When arrested he identified his address as being in Spain and said he had lived in Spain the past year.”

She claimed there would be a risk of flight if Ryan was released.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd confirmed an application for bail will be mounted at a later date.

“It would be premature now, there’s no address in this jurisdiction,” he explained.

Mr Boyd also acknowledged his client may have to put up a substantial cash surety as part of his bid to be released.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC remanded Ryan in custody to appear again in a week’s time.