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Gardai break up cocaine gang route

GARDAI believe they have smashed an international cocaine smuggling route after intercepting three significant shipments in the past week.

A Caribbean crime gang had been using 'mules' to act as couriers bringing in cocaine in luggage through Dublin airport.

But a three-week operation involving members of the garda drugs unit led to a breakthrough after it kept surveillance on two Dublin hotels.

Last night, gardai were in close contact with several police forces overseas as they attempted to trace the source of the drugs.

The high purity of the seized shipments meant the cocaine could be cut and mixed four times and net huge profits for the criminals trafficking here.

Some of the cocaine was thought to have been destined for the UK market and the rest would have been sold here.

Last week, two of the shipments, with a street value of up to €4.2m, were seized at Dublin airport and in a Dublin city hotel.

The third consignment was found in luggage in another hotel, on the northside of the city, on Tuesday night.

It contained four kilos of high purity cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to €280,000.

Meanwhile, two men from Dublin and Cork were questioned by gardai yesterday after national drug unit detectives, drug units, seized cannabis and cocaine with an overall value of around €500,000.

Irish Independent