Man (20s) arrested after allegedly arriving at port to collect €2.8m cocaine hidden in fish boxes
9 hrs ago
A man in his 20s is in Garda custody after the seizure this morning of almost €3 million worth of suspected cocaine which was hidden in a consignment of thousands of fish boxes at Rosslare Europort.
The massive bust was made by officers from the Wexford divisional drugs unit at around 2am today following the earlier discovery of the drugs by customs officers.
Revenue officers had earlier become suspicious when they searched an unaccompanied freight trailer which had arrived into the port from Dunkirk late last night and they scanned it and discovered the drugs.
Gardaí were notified of the situation and set up a special surveillance operation.
Senior sources say that at around 2am a man in his 20s, who is well known to local officers for involvement in organised crime, arrived at the scene.
The suspect was arrested when he arrived in a truck tractor unit to allegedly collect the trailer which had arrived in the port from France.
The total of value of the cocaine which was discovered in “very large slabs” is estimated to be €2.8 million.
The man is currently being detained at Wexford town Garda Station and being questioned under drugs trafficking legislation and he can be held for up to seven days.
Sources say that when originally questioned the suspect attempted to claim that he lived outside of Ireland but enquiries by officers established that he is a local criminal living in the New Ross area of Co Wexford.
It is understood he did not have a mobile phone in his possession when arrested and this may have been an attempt to impede investigations if he was arrested.
A number of follow-up searches took place today.
“He is well known to gardaí and has been involved in haulage and international driving for a number of years and connections to Northern Ireland,” a senior source said.
“In fact he was caught with a very significant amount of cash at Rosslare Port which he was attempting to leave the jurisdiction with in a truck earlier this year and this cash was seized from him on that occasion,” the source added.
The suspect has links to a number of other criminals who are suspected of being heavily involved in drugs trafficking.
Gardaí have not yet established which of the major criminal gangs are the owners of the cocaine haul.
However, it is suspected that a number of different Irish criminal groupings may have “clubbed together” to import the cocaine from mainland Europe, before it was to be distributed across the country.
There has been a number of major drug busts at Rosslare Europort this year including in August when Revenue officers seized 88kg of heroin valued at over €12 million.
The drugs were found concealed in plant machinery which came in on a ferry from continental Europe and is regarded as the biggest heroin seizure in the history of the State.
With the port becoming increasingly busy with new routes in recent times, there have been some major successes against organised crime gangs in 2021 including €181,000 in cash seized in June, €800,000 worth of cannabis discovered in February as well as €400,000 in cash seized in October of last year.