BOGOTA: Gardaí and the authorities seized haul of cocaine drugs destined for the Irish Christmas market found in a shipment of bananas 300 kg of cocaine worth €55 million have been seized. Some of the haul was destined for the Irish Christmas market and was found in a shipment of bananas that had originated in Colombia.
Some of the haul was destined for the Irish Christmas market and was found in a shipment of bananas that had originated in Colombia.
However, the vessel was tracked by the Irish and British authorities in an intelligence lead operation.
Garda sources said while a number of similarly large seizures of cocaine have been made on vessels in Irish waters, the suspected involvement of Irish gangs in the latest shipment was significant.
The drugs found on board other ships in Irish waters in recent years were bound for Ireland only en route to the UK.
In September around a tonne of cocaine was seized by the Irish Naval Service from the yacht Makayabella around 300 miles (€480km) off the south west coast.
That operation also involved the UK National Crime Agency working with the Garda.
The latest seizure involved the Garda and Britain’s Border Force and National Crime Agency.
The investigation is continuing, with gardai investigating the suspected involvement of Irish criminals based both in the Republic and in Spain.
Deputy director of the National Crime Agency’s border policing command, Tom Dowdall said the operation had proven very successful.
“Working with our law enforcement partners in the UK and Ireland we have successfully prevented a huge quantity of what is likely to be very high purity cocaine reaching our streets.
“Our investigations into the organised crime groups likely to be responsible for this shipment continues.
“This seizure once again demonstrates the international reach of the NCA and the impact we are having on the criminal networks involved in drug trafficking.”