Three men released after no trace of drugs found on yacht

The arrests had been made on suspicion of drugs trafficking on Thursday in Kerry

Gardaí, who were questioning the three men at Bandon Garda Station, opted not to extend their detention under drug trafficking legislation. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Gardaí, who were questioning the three men at Bandon Garda Station, opted not to extend their detention under drug trafficking legislation. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Gardaí on Friday released three men arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking off the Kerry coast after an extensive search of their yacht by customs officers failed to find any trace of drugs.

The three men, two Irish nationals from Co Louth and a Czech national, had been arrested on suspicion of drugs trafficking on Thursday morning after the Naval Service detained their yacht.

The yacht, which had sailed from the Azores and was en route to Dingle, was detained off the Skellig Rocks and brought into Kinsale Harbour where custom officers began a detailed search of the boat.

The boat was lifted from the water at Kinsale boatyard on Friday and customs search teams opened up sections of the hull, but found no traces of drugs aboard the vessel.

Meanwhile gardaí, who were questioning the three men at Bandon Garda Station, opted not to extend their detention under drug trafficking legislation and released them without charge.

The seizure of the yacht and the arrest of the men was a multi-agency operation involving the Naval Service, Customs and gardaí from a number of specialist units, as well as local officers in west Cork.