CANNABIS VALUED at €400,000 was seized last Tuesday when gardaí swooped on a cannabis growhouse in Clonroche. A Vietnamese national in his twenties was arrested by Enniscorthy gardaí who carried out the search of the rented premises at Raheen.
Gardaí made the discovery of an estimated €400,000 worth of cannabis plants inside the house, which was turned into a growhouse. 'It was a large operation,' said a Garda spokesman. ' The entire upstairs of the house was used to grow cannabis and there were heat lamps and an irrigation system in place.' The premises in question had been under surveillance for some time. Gardaí are now trying to determine who else was involved in this operation.
Gardai, who took possession of all the plants, say this operation was ongoing for a 'few months' and the plants seized were at various stages of growth.
The Vietnamese man who was arrested was detained at Enniscorthy Garda Station under the Drug Trafficking Act.
He was released from custody on Thursday, pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and was re-arrested for immigration related offences. He appeared before Wexford District Court on Thursday morning in relation to immigration issues and was remanded in custody to Cloverhill this week.
The search in Clonroche was carried out as part of Operation Wireless II, which targeted the criminal activity and organised criminal actions of a number of selected targets nationwide.
This second nationwide phase of Operation Wireless saw Gardai arresting 113 people for drug trafficking, robbery, aggravated burglary, possession of firearms, burglary, theft, handling stolen property, drug and other related offences.
There were 236 planned searches carried out as part of this operation.
These searches relate to searches for stolen property, drugs, cannabis grow houses, firearms and other types of evidence relevant to ongoing criminal investigations across the country.
A substantial quantity of cannabis plants, approximately 4,200 in total, were seized at the various cannabis grow houses searched on Tuesday.
The street value of these plants is estimated to be in the region of €3,500,000 (pending analysis). These searches were in Clonroche, Rathcormack, Cork, Laytown and in Dublin.