A massive drugs haul discovered at Dublin Port was discovered after the criminal gang involved in its import failed to pick it up.
Heroin, cocaine and cannabis valued at almost €10 million was discovered hidden in furniture which has been shipped in a container from the Netherlands.
Members of a Revenue-Garda team moved in on the container on Wednesday, discovering the drugs hidden in boxes concealed within pouffes after Revenue’s sniffer dog Robbie made the initial detection.
The haul was made up of 60kg of cocaine, 22kg of heroin, 145kg of cannabis resin, 79kg of cannabis herb and 1kg of ketamine; all with a combined value of €9.8 million.
Investigators initially believed the value of the drugs was far higher.
However, as the search operation continued to unfold it emerged many of the parcels of drugs were cannabis products, which are valued at only a fraction of the price of cocaine or heroin.
A follow-up search was carried out at a premises in Rathcoole, Co Dublin on Wednesday which gardaí believe to be linked to the shipments.
Investigators found 960kg of tobacco valued at €600,000 stored at the premises.
"Investigations are ongoing with the assistance of the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau and in collaboration with international law enforcement partners," a Revenue spokeswoman said on Friday.
It is understood the consignment had lain undetected at Dublin Port for several days while awaiting pick-up. It is not known why the container was not picked up.
One possibility being explored by gardaí is that the criminals believed the shipment to be under surveillance.
There are only a small number of gangs operating in Ireland with the capacity to import such large volumes of drugs. Criminals affiliated with the Kinahan organised crime group are under suspicion, as are a number of lower-profile groups operating in Dublin.
Gardaí are also considering the possibility the drugs may have been destined for the UK, possibly by shipping them over the border to Northern Ireland.
Gardaí are liaising with the Dutch police as part of their investigations and are continuing to investigate activity around the industrial unit in Rathcoole.