Over €550k worth of drugs seized as fire call-out leads to hidden stash
MORE than €300,000 of drugs were seized in west Dublin after firefighters responding to a blaze discovered a suspicious bag.
Dublin Fire Brigade and gardai, as well as members of the garda Emergency Response Unit responded to the scene on Wednesday after reports that two men acting suspiciously were seen running away from a burning building.
Firemen dealt with the blaze, and the scene was declared safe shortly after. However, as fire officers searched the property to assess the damage they stumbled across a suspicious bag.
The following day officers from Ronanstown Garda Station searched the house in Lucan, Co Dublin, recovering more then €300k worth of benzodiazepines.
Commonly referred to as 'benzos', they are used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. Different types of benzodiazepenes include Valium, Xanax and Rohypnol, better known by their street name of 'roofies'.
A source described the find as "pure luck". "This wasn't a planned raid, and if it weren't for the fire occurring the previous night these drugs might not have been discovered, at least not so soon," the source added.
A 34-year-man was arrested two days after the discovery and has subsequently been charged in relation to the find.
It was the second significant drug seizure in the Lucan area in just two days. The previous day almost €250,000 worth of illegal substances were found at a house in the Larkfield estate.
In a raid by gardai from Ronanstown, officers entered the property and seized ecstasy tablets and MDMA.
A youth was arrested at the address, and has since been charged with possession of controlled drugs for unlawful sale or supply. The 17-year-old is before the courts on a separate charge relating to a crime spree in west Dublin in February of this year.
The two seizures last week bring the total value of drugs seized in west Dublin so far this year close to €8m.
Local councillor William Lavelle recently praised the work of Dublin Metropolitan Region West units, commending the "very proactive approach" gardai have taken in the area.