herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Over 110,000 'benzo' tablets seized in city as gardai tackle dealers

Gardai are planning a major crackdown
Gardai are planning a major crackdown

More than 100,000 Benzodiazepines tablets have been seized in the north inner city area in recent weeks.

Store Street Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy told a Joint Policing Committee this week that in the past eight weeks some 114,000 "benzo" tablets had been seized in separate raids on a single premises in Summerhill.

He acknowledged that there was a problem with prescription drug dealing in the area, but said that a response is being designed specifically for the north inner city to tackle the issue.

He told the meeting that dealers in the area believe "that they are bullet-proof from the law" and that "they can sell them [tablets] openly".

Those responsible for dealing prescription drugs are well-known to the gardai and have been arrested for drugs offences, he said. Mr Leahy was reluctant to go into detail on the planned response, but warned that there was a "big surprise" waiting for dealers in the area.

"I think that there is a surprise waiting for all of the people up there who think that they can get away with this," he said.

"They think that they're going to walk away from this and they're not. There's a big surprise waiting for them."

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke revealed that he was approached by a group of people at 3pm in the afternoon asking if he was "doing benzos or zimmos".

"They thought I was a dealer ... it didn't cost them a blink because they believed they were in a particular area and that drugs were openly on sale," he said.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn, who sits on the JPC, welcomed the news that there was a crackdown on prescription drug dealing in the city and pointed out that it was a problem across the capital.

Immune

"It's high time the garda and the relevant authorities took definitive action to deal with prescription drugs being dealt on the streets," he told the Herald.

"This is along the same lines of the legal highs, where those engaged in selling serious drugs were almost immune.

"I look forward to whatever actions the gardai and relevant authorities are going to take," he added.

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