Assistant Commissioner, John O’Driscoll said that yesterday’s seizure involving Gardaí of €12 million worth of cocaine in Cork is inidicative of the “nature” of the drug market.
These drugs were found in Ringaskiddy Port when containers coming from Central America were searched.
The head of Gardaí Organised and Serious Crime Unit had this to say.”This is just one example of successful interventions, made in this case in Ireland”.
O’Driscoll also told Morning Ireland that international cooperation, intelligence management and “state of the art” equipment availble to the Revenue Commissioners’ Custom service can lead to successful operations like this.
Asst Comm O’Driscoll also added, “We work closely with our counterparts in law enforcement entities in Europe and wider afield for the purpose of tackling this level of drug trafficking”.
Further than Ireland
John O’Driscoll said that yesterday’s raid by Gardaí on the containers is just one example of the trade that operates between Central America and Europe. He also referred to the seizure of cocaine a year ago by authorities in Costa Rica, which he said had a value of €26 million.
“On a growing basis the volume of intermodal transportation networks used for large volume shipments is a significant factor in the drugs market so looking for a container amid the vast quantity of containers at any port is a difficult task”, he said.
€9 billion cocaine market
The Assistant Commissioner also said that Gardaí were informed that the European police agency estimated that the cocaine market is valued at over €9 billion in Europe. The Assist Comm also added, “there are an estimated four million users of cocaine”.
He also said that the drug use resulted in around 8,000 deaths across Europe, according to the 2017 findings from Europol.
He also stated the importance of removing this product from the market and preventing organised crime groups from accruing vast amounts of wealth.
Mr O’Driscoll also added that Gardaí and Customs are continuing to pursue the money trail.
He told Morning Ireland that they have both worked together to achieve record seizures of both drugs and money.
Gardaí have not yet identified which organised crime gang is reponsible for this drug seizure.