A BRAZILIAN student who attempted to smuggle cocaine into Ireland with a street value of more than €50,000 died of accidental poisoning, a coroner’s court was told.
John Kennedy Santos Gurjao, 24, a Brazilian student was travelling from Lisbon to Dublin on an Aer Lingus flight when he became unwell.
Gurjao became very agitated and began to have a seizure, the court was told, on the flight in October 2015. When he became wilder and more aggressive and bit another passenger on the arm, cabin crew were forced to restrain him.
The flight had to be diverted to Cork Airport on 18 October 2015 when Gurjao became very agitated, and had to be handcuffed after biting another passenger.
Crew gave Gurgao emergency first aid and carried out CPR for 50 minutes while the aircraft was diverted to Cork.
A post-mortem examination found that Gurjao had 113 rolls of cocaine in his system individually wrapped in black plastic and weighing almost one kilo. The Coroner's Court for South Cork was also told that Gurjao had four times the average fatal level of cocaine in his body.
Olga Pinto, who knew the deceased, told the coroner’s court that Gurgao was very nervous when she met him at Lisbon airport.
She said that she thought it was because his Irish visa was due to expire on the day he was flying.
Returning a verdict of accidental poisoning, Coroner Frank O'Connell told the court that this was the first case of its kind to come before him and that smuggling drugs like this was like playing Russian roulette.