€35 million worth of cocaine found in coal bags by Gardai
14th July 2021
An Garda Siochana has seized two shipping containers that departed from Ireland carrying a potential €35 million worth of cocaine.© Provided by Extra.ie
The two containers held up to 2,000 bags of charcoal, but forensic analysis, along with Garda dogs and a mobile x-ray scanner confirmed a presence of cocaine in the bags.
The Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) believe an attempt was made by an organised crime group to import up to half a tonne of cocaine into Ireland.© Provided by Extra.ie An Garda Siochana has seized two shipping containers that departed from Ireland carrying a potential €35 million worth of cocaine. Pic: An Garda Siochana
This is part of an ongoing investigation by the GNDOCB into the suspected importation of cocaine into Europe and Ireland, in particular, from South America.
Through an ongoing liaison with relevant law enforcement authorities in The Netherlands, Gardai took possession of the two containers in question, which arrived at Rotterdam Port a number of weeks ago.
With the assistance of the Irish Navy and Customs & Revenue, An Garda Siochana arranged for the two containers to be transported to Ireland, and brought ashore under armed escort.
A statement from An Garda Siochana confirmed: ‘The 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 (FSI) 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.’© Provided by Extra.ie This is part of an ongoing investigation by the GNDOCB into the suspected importation of cocaine into Europe and Ireland, in particular, from South America. Pic: An Garda Siochana
FSI examination would appear to confirm suspicion held by An Garda Siochana that the two suspended shipping containers may have been used in an attempt to ship half a tonne of cocaine into Ireland.
Gardai have confirmed that, in the event that the full consignment of cocaine has been discovered, it has a potential street sale value of up to €35 million.
As investigations continue under the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, it is anticipated a number of suspects will be arrested in the near future.
Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys commented on the seizure, stating: ‘I would like to thank the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue Customs Service, the Irish Naval Service, and Forensic Science Ireland for their work in intercepting and identifying this very large volume of drugs destined for the Irish market.© Provided by Extra.ie Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys commented on the seizure Pic: MAXWELLS
‘This is another very significant seizure in what has been an exceptional year for GNDOCB in disrupting drug trafficking and the supply of illicit drugs by organised crime groups.
‘Tackling organised crime remains a key priority for Government and we will continue to provide all supports necessary to An Garda Siochana as they continue to target those trafficking drugs.’