Sunday 18 August 2019

Gardaí smash operation where clothes embedded with cocaine being imported into Ireland

Stock picture
Stock picture

Ralph Riegel

Gardaí have smashed a high-tech cocaine smuggling operation where clothing heavily embedded with the drug was being imported into Ireland from South America.

Four people, all aged between their 20s and 40s, were arrested in west Cork after an intelligence led operation by Garda anti-drug units.

An estimated €200,000 of drugs was seized at a property in west Cork.

It is now being analysed by Forensic Science Ireland to determine both its street value and purity.

Initial indications are that the drugs were being sourced from Columbia or Venezuela.

It is suspected the gang were importing clothing from South America supposedly for sale here.

However, items of clothing were heavily embedded with cocaine during a special soaking process.

Once in Ireland, the items of clothing would be subjected to a special chemical wash process where the cocaine was carefully recovered, dried and then prepared for sale.

It represents one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling operations foiled by Gardaí over recent years.

The four arrested were detained under the Misuse of Drugs Act and can be questioned for an initial period of 24 hours.

However, that can be further extended if required.

Several are being questioned in Bantry Garda Station.

Gardaí said they believe they have smashed a major drugs operation which was preparing cocaine for the Christmas and New Year markets.

The elaborate operation was foiled as the street price of cocaine has again started to soar in Ireland.

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