Gardaí arrest 50 people in drugs raids

Wed, Nov 21, 2012, 00:00

Gardaí have arrested more than 50 people, carried out 236 searches, found five cannabis grow houses and seized plants worth an estimated €3.5 million in a co-ordinated operation across the State.

The raids yesterday represent the largest single move against the cannabis trade and are among the largest ever raids against organised crime. The majority of those arrested are Chinese and gardaí believe the biggest drugs gangs in the State are being led by Chinese and Vietnamese criminals, with the head of their cartels based in other jurisdictions.

Operation Wireless, targeting the largest grow house gangs in the State has been ongoing for a number of months, with the second phase resulting in the raids yesterday.

A total of 236 sites were searched. As well as the main focus on the cannabis grow house sector, gardaí were also looking for evidence relating to the drugs trade in general, firearms offences and the handling of stolen goods.

As well as the 53 arrests made relating to the grow house sector and the other crime types, gardaí also executed a European arrest warrant under which a man is to be sent to Poland for trial for a serious assault.

The searches took place in Dublin, Rathcormac, Cork, Clonroche, Wexford and Laytown. Some 4,200 cannabis plants were seized.