Seizure of drugs worth €7m to ‘disrupt trade in State’

Seven held after heroin, cocaine and other drugs seized in Dublin, Louth and Wexford

 

Gardaí believe the seizure of more than 60kg of heroin, cocaine and other drugs worth almost €7 million in three separate raids will significantly disrupt the illegal drugs trade in Ireland

Det Chief Supt John O’Driscoll, speaking at the Garda National Drugs Unit at Dublin Castle, said the finds were particularly important as EU figures show Ireland has one of the highest rates of teenage use of such drugs.

The drugs were seized in separate hauls in Donnybrook, Dublin; Drogheda, Co Louth, and Rosslare, Co Wexford. Seven people have been arrested in relation to two seizures by gardaí and one by Revenue.

In the case of the heroin it is I think the largest seizure we have had for five years,” he said.

“That is obviously significant. In relation to the cocaine, it’s the largest find since 2012. We don’t see this as the end of our journey in tackling the drugs issue and we hope to continue with many operations of this nature where we will combine with our law-enforcement colleagues at an international level. All controlled substances are damaging [to society] but we are acutely conscious of the particular damage that heroin and cocaine cause.”

Gardaí discovered the 32kg haul of cocaine with an estimated value of €2.24 million during the search of a house on the Stillorgan Road, Donnybrook, Dublin last night.

Officers arrested two men at the scene and they are being held at Blackrock Garda station. The pair, aged 27 and 37, can be held for up to seven days under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 .

It was part of an intelligence-led operation involving the local drug unit in Dundrum and the Garda National Drugs Unit.

In Co Louth, gardaí seized heroin worth more than €4 million in a truck on the M1 motorway yesterday evening. They arrested three people in relation to the haul.

The discovery, unconnected to the Donnybrook find, was made when gardaí stopped and searched the articulated truck on the motorway near Drogheda. On board they discovered 27kg of heroin with an estimated street value of €4.05 million.

They arrested a man (40) and a woman (43) at the scene and arrested a second man, also aged 40, in a follow-up search.

They are being held at Coolock and Drogheda Garda stations. They can be held for up to seven days under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 .

Asked if those responsible were connected to criminal or paramilitary groups, Det Chief Supt O’Driscoll said: “The extent to which organised crime is involved is a central part of the investigation which is ongoing. That is something that will be explored to the nth degree.”

In Co Wexford, more than €500,000 worth of drugs were seized by Revenue Customs officers at Rosslare Europort yesterday. They were discovered in the fuel tank of a UK registered vehicle which had disembarked from Cherbourg after indications from Revenue sniffer dog Ralph.

Officers discovered 2.7kg of heroin, 1.1kg of ecstasy, almost 1kg of cannabis resin and 0.2kg of LSD. The drugs have an estimated street value of €534,280.

Gardaí arrested two men, a Scottish national (40) and an Irish national (34). They are being held at Waterford Garda station and investigations are ongoing.

Det Chief Supt O’Driscoll added: “Tackling the supply chain rests with the Garda, Customs and with our colleagues at an international level and other law enforcement agencies.

“When the levels of heroin and cocaine are rising - anything that can be done to impact on the level of use has to be done. In that context we see this as an important event.”