herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

Man quizzed over €2.5m drugs found in horsebox by ferry port sniffer dog

Around €2.5m of cocaine was found at Rosslare Europort
Around €2.5m of cocaine was found at Rosslare Europort

A man in his 40s who was previously unknown to gardai for any involvement in serious organised crime remained in custody last night in relation to one of the biggest drug seizures this year.

The discovery of an estimated €2.5m of cocaine was made at Rosslare Europort on Thursday evening by customs officers.

The drugs were found by a sniffer dog in a horsebox containing eight horses.

This led to the arrest of the only suspect in the case, and he was being held at Wexford Garda Station last night.

The man, who has no previous convictions, is originally from a rural village in Co Laois.

Detectives were last night trying to piece together potential links the arrested man may have with some of the country's most serious crime gangs through analysis of mobile data and other techniques.

"All the indications are that the suspect is what is called a drugs mule, carrying high-value product for low-value gain," a source said.

"This is one of the biggest drugs seizures in Ireland this year, and it is a question for specialist gardai now to try and establish who this individual may be linked to."

The Revenue Commissioners announced details of the investigation.

"As a result of routine profiling, Revenue officers in Rosslare Europort seized over 35kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of over €2.5m," a spokeswoman said.

"The illegal drugs were found, with the assistance of detector dog Timba, when Revenue officers stopped and searched an Irish-registered horsebox that was transport- ing eight horses, which had disembarked a ferry from Cherbourg.

"An Irish man in his 40s was arrested by gardai at the scene and is currently being detained at Wexford Garda Station."

Revenue seized more than €33m worth of drugs last year, according to its preliminary results.

Amphetamines

Over the course of the past 12 months, Revenue seized 6,487kg of drugs and more than 67 million cigarettes.

Its report shows that nearly €17m worth of cocaine and heroin were seized, with cannabis herb and resin the next highest in value at €9m.

In the course of its work, there were 5,633 seizures and detection of amphetamines, ecstasy and other drugs by Revenue personnel.

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