Soheil Jelveh, described as the captain of the ship seized last week during Ireland's largest-ever drug bust, appeared in Wexford District Court this morning, Monday, October 2.

Jelveh, a 50-year-old Iranian national, was charged with importation of cocaine into the State where the value of the drugs was more than €13,000, possession of cocaine, and possession of cocaine for sale or supply.

Jelveh was described as the captain of the MV Matthew bulk cargo ship, which was seized off the south coast of Ireland during a massive joint operation last Wednesday, September 27.

A total of 2,253kg of cocaine worth €157 million was found on board the ship, making it Ireland's largest-ever drug bust, according to officials.

Four other individuals arrested remain in custody, An Garda Síochána said on Sunday.

Catch of the Day! 🎣#KeepingPeopleSafe

— Garda Info (@gardainfo) September 27, 2023

The court heard on Monday that Jelveh had been airlifted from the bulk carrier to University Hospital Waterford after a request for urgent medical assistance had been issued from the ship. 

Jelveh was arrested on Sunday afternoon and charged just over an hour later, Detective Garda Liam Mangan, from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, told the court on Monday, according to the PA.

Mangan told the court on Monday that Jelveh made no reply when charged with the offenses at Wexford Garda Station on Sunday afternoon. 

Defense solicitor Lana Doherty applied for bail on her client's behalf, though Mangan argued that Jelveh is a "significant flight risk."

Mangan told the court that Jelveh's family is based in Dubai, while Doherty said her client has been a ship's captain for more than 20 years and has a clean record. 

Judge John Cheatle said the allegations against Jelveh were so serious and his links to Ireland were so tenuous that it would be impossible to grant bail. 

Judge Cheatle remanded Jelveh in custody. 

Jelveh is the third person to be charged in connection with the historic drug seizure after 31-year-old UK national Jamie Harbron and 60-year-old Ukrainian Vitaliy Lapa were also charged.

The two men also appeared at Wexford District Court on Monday and have been remanded in custody for a fortnight when they appear before the court again via video link.