A WEST Dublin drugs gang has been dealt a major blow after €1.8m worth of cannabis resin was seized in two separate raids.
The first raid was on Tuesday evening when a van was stopped in Dublin city centre and 200 kilos of the drug were recovered.
The value of the drugs in the van, which was stopped on the north quays, is estimated to be about €1.4m. The driver of the van, a 60-year-old man, was arrested.
A follow-up raid last night at a premises in Rathcoole, believed to be the distribution centre used by the gang, yielded another 70 kilos, worth another €400,000. A 40-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
The raids by the Garda National Drugs Unit were carried out after an intelligence-gathering operation.
Gardai said the latest hauls are seen as a major blow to the drug gang and follow-up arrests are expected to be made in the coming days.
The industrial estate where the drugs were found is in the Greenogue area on the outskirts of Rathcoole and Newcastle.
The 60-year-old man arrested in the city centre is being questioned at the Bridewell Garda Station under section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.
The younger man arrested in Rathcoole is being detained at Clondalkin Garda Station under the same act. They can be held for up to seven days from the time of arrest. It is the second time in just two weeks that the gang have been hit.
Earlier this month, on August 12 and 13, gardai arrested 37 people as part of Operation Reagent, targeting the sale and supply of drugs in West Dublin.
Some 36 men and one woman were arrested by officers from the Garda National Drugs Unit, as part of an operation targeting two drugs distribution gangs in Ballyfermot, Neilstown and Ronanstown in West Dublin.
More than 60 charges were laid against the suspected dealers.
Operation Reagent was a six-month covert operation to gather evidence against significant drug dealers in local communities. Drug Units at Ronanstown and Ballyfermot Garda Stations worked closely with the Garda National Drug Unit to gather evidence and secure drug supply charges.