Gardai have seized cocaine with an estimated street value of €35m.
The drugs were disguised in 2,000 bags of charcoal and smuggled in two large containers from South America to Rotterdam.
Forensic Science Ireland is still examining the coal bags to determine the total amount of cocaine seized, but it’s estimated to weigh up to half a tonne.
Two containers were found to contain up to 2,000 bags of charcoal. However, through utilisation of Garda dogs and a mobile x-ray scanner in the possession of Revenue & Customs, anomalies were discovered in respect of a number of bags which purported to be charcoal.
The services of Forensic Science Ireland have been utilised to confirm the presence of cocaine in those bags identified through the scanning process as indicating anomalies with regard to their content.
Initial examination undertaken by the FSI would tend to confirm the suspicion held by the Garda Síochána that the two shipping containers may have been used in an attempt to transport up to half of a tonne of cocaine into Ireland.
In the event that the full consignment of cocaine has been discovered, it has a potential street sale value of up to €35 million. However, it will take a number of days and perhaps longer for FSI to extract the cocaine from the product within which it is concealed.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who is assigned to Organised and Serious Crime within the Garda Síochána said:
“This is a significant development in the Garda Síochána’s effort to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups suspected to be involved in the importation of cocaine and other drugs into Ireland. This operation, in which the Garda Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau is taking a lead role, has a significant international dimension and again emphasises the importance of cooperation within the law enforcement community within Europe and further afield”.