herald

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Two held as garda raids on traffickers net €7m drugs haul

GARDAI have seized €7m in drugs in a massive operation against two major gangs. The finds were made following an operation by the Garda National Drugs Unit against a drug-trafficking gang in two major swoops.



Today two men, aged 31 years and 30 years, were being questioned by officers at Naas Garda Station.



Couriers

The suspects in custody are understood to be couriers for the gang who have not been on the garda radar before but came to the attention of the Garda National Drugs Unit a number of months ago.

The first seizure was made on the outskirts of Naas town at Monread when armed officers stopped and searched two cars.

They found 35kg of heroin, diamorphine and cocaine with a street value of up to €5.5m.

In follow-up searches of houses in Palmerstown in west Dublin, gardai recovered 10 kilos of cocaine.

They also recovered 20kg of herbal cannabis and 1kg of diamorphine, with a street value of more than €1.2m.

The finds were the culmination of a lengthy investigation by the drugs unit into the activities of a targeted gang, based in west Dublin and north Kildare.

The two suspects -- one from Palmerstown and the other from Celbridge were being held under section 2 of the drug trafficking legislation, which allowed gardai to detain them without charge for up to seven days.



Focuses

Gardai believe the drugs had been smuggled into the country as part of a joint enterprise by the two gangs, who are mainly involved in trafficking in heroin.

One of the gangs operates in west Dublin while the second focuses on the south inner city area, particularly around Crumlin.

Gardai are satisfied that the drugs found in the Palmerstown area had been in the country for some time and had already been mixed and prepared for distribution.

But the shipment seized in a Tesco supermarket car park at Monread in Naas had been brought into the country recently and had not been mixed.

Gardai are satisfied the shipment was destined for the country market rather than Dublin, and Naas had been chosen as a pick-up point for the transfer of the drugs from one gang to the other.

The finds were the culmination of a lengthy investigation by the drugs unit into the activities of the targeted gang, whose members are well known to gardai.

kfoy@herald.ie

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