Major drug operation smashed by gardai
Gardai have dismantled a major network of growhouses cultivating and supplying herbal cannabis to the south-east of the country.
The supply route was under the control of a top Irish criminal based in Waterford city, but the cultivation was carried out by Vietnamese growers.
Gardai from the south-east region, backed up by the national drugs unit, were involved in the operation which had been under way for several months.
They uncovered growhouses yesterday in Newbridge, Co Kildare, and Leighlinbridge, Rathvilly and Clonegal, all in Co Carlow.
Gardai carried out a total of eight searches in counties Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Kildare and recovered cannabis plants, at varying stages of growth, with an overall street value of around €750,000.
All of the growhouses were described as sophisticated set-ups and were all located in residential premises.
Six men and one woman, all Vietnamese, were detained for questioning at Newbridge, Carlow, Enniscorthy and Waterford garda stations last night under the drug trafficking legislation, which means they can be held without charge for up to seven days.
One of the men is suspected of being the organiser of the cultivation workers.
Gardai also seized €60,000 in cash during the raids.
A senior officer said last night: "This is a big breakthrough in our efforts to disrupt and destroy the gangs behind drug trafficking and supply in the south-east."