AN IRISH truck driver has been arrested by Spanish police after the seizure of a €4m shipment of cannabis concealed in chicken fillets.
The drugs had been hidden in a warehouse located between Murcia and Almeria.
Police swooped as the consignment was about to be loaded onto a truck and driven through the Netherlands to the UK.
The 55-year-old lorry driver, from Drogheda, Co Louth, was detained for questioning along with a Dutch father and son and two Spanish nationals.
The seizure followed a big operation involving law enforcement authorities in Germany and Spain, backed up by Europol.
Last night, a senior Europol source said the operation had broken up an international cannabis trafficking network based in Almeria in Spain.
Spanish police moved in as the German registered trailer truck was being loaded with 88 bundles of hashish. The bundles ranged in weight from 25 to 30 kilos each, and were bound initially for northern Europe. The total cannabis shipment was 2.6 tonnes.
Gardai from the national drugs unit at Dublin Castle are helping with inquiries in to the background of the Drogheda truck driver.
A sixth suspect escaped during the police raid and is currently being sought.
Europol said the operation involved close co-operation between the agency and the law enforcements units in Germany and Spain and led to the disclosure of "a multi-nationally structured and active organised criminal group involved in the wholesale trafficking of illegal drugs hidden in legal cargo".
An officer said last night that further inquiries are being carried out in to the road haulage companies used in the smuggling operation.