Drugs worth nearly €10m discovered hidden in furniture shipment

Gardaí and customs officers find cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ketamine in container

Drugs valued at almost €10 million seized at Dublin Port were hidden in furniture shipped into the Republic in a container from the Netherlands.

It is believed most of the haul was destined for the lucrative Christmas period, when drug consumption increases.

A joint investigation team of Revenue's customs officers and members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau also identified a premises in Co Dublin they believe is linked to the container. They found tobacco valued at €600,000 when they searched that unit.

The furniture with the drugs inside arrived at Dublin Port a number of days ago and it is believed the load was under surveillance as it had been identified as highly suspect after scanning.


Members of the customs-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. Initially gardaí believed the haul contained far more cocaine and was worth over €20 million.

However, as the search operation continued to unfold late on Wednesday night 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.

Security sources said though the value of the drugs was much lower than expected, the seizure was still one of the biggest of recent years and was a major blow to the criminals involved.

“The drugs were discovered concealed within a furniture consignment which had arrived from the Netherlands,” the Revenue Commissioners said in a brief statement on the operation. “The search of the consignment was carried out with the assistance of Revenue’s mobile X-ray scanner and detector dog Robbie.”

The follow-up search carried out on Wednesday saw a team of investigators target a unit in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, where some 960kg of tobacco valued at €600,000 was found.

Gardaí and customs officers were liaising with law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands in a bid to establish more about the drugs delivery while Garda members were also probing activity around the unit in Rathcoole.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times