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Cocaine hidden in champagne and wine, and seven arrested in €2m raid on Kinahan cartel

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Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll. Photo: Frank McGrath

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll. Photo: Frank McGrath

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll. Photo: Frank McGrath

SEVEN men have been arrested after gardaí seized more than €2m worth of drugs and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash linked to the Kinahan cartel.

In one operation, gardaí discovered cocaine concealed in champagne and wine bottles. In another Dublin-based associates of the gang were arrested in coordinated searches.

Those detained include both Irish criminals and foreign nationals suspected of involvement in drug trafficking networks on an “international level”.

On Wednesday, detectives searched a private property in the Beaumont area of north Dublin where they seized bottles of champagne and wine.

The bottles are believed to contain cocaine in liquid form with an estimated street value of €150,000.

One man, aged in his 20s, was arrested as part of this seizure and is currently being held over drug trafficking offences at Ballymun garda station. He has been charged and will appear in court on Friday morning.

In another operation gardaí from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau intercepted a vehicle on the M50, while follow-up searches were carried out in Palmerstown and Dublin’s south-inner city.

A number of suspects attempted to evade gardaí by swimming across the River Liffey but were arrested.

During the searches cocaine, cannabis and heroin were recovered with an estimated street value of €2m, as well as hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

Money counting and vacuum packing machines, encrypted communication devices and a “substantial quantity” of documents were also seized.

One of six men arrested was charged last night and is due in court on Friday morning. were arrested

It is understood they include individuals from Dublin’s north-inner city who have close links to criminals serving lengthy sentences for murder plots carried out on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.

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Gardaí believe they were continuing to operate a drugs network in the capital on behalf of the international crime gang which was hit by financial sanctions imposed by the US government in April.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who heads the force’s response to serious and organised crime, said people operating at a significant level of criminality have been arrested.

“The outcome of operational activity undertaken by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, supported by a number of other specialised units within the Garda Síochána, over the past 24 hours, is very significant and reflects exceptional policing skills along with dedication and bravery on the part of the personnel involved,” he said.

“Large quantities of drugs have been seized, along with a significant quantity of money suspected to be proceeds of drug trafficking.


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