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Massive €20m coke haul was hidden in cargo of tinned fruit from Holland

A DUBLIN gang were behind the massive €20m cocaine haul, it was revealed today.

The father and son arrested for the Dutch shipment are very close associates of crime godfather Larry Dunne, the criminal who first introduced heroin to Dublin.

The Crumlin pair, aged 42 and 65, were today being quizzed along with three foreign nationals after the country’s biggest drugs seizure in three years.

The 80 kilos of high purity cocaine was found concealed in a consignment of fruit which had arrived in a container at Cork Port on a ferry from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It was seized after armed officers surrounded a remote industrial premises near Bartlemy, Fermoy, Co Cork, shortly after 4pm yesterday.

Dunne flooded the streets of Dublin with heroin in the 1970s and became a millionaire from drug trafficking before wasting all the cash.

It was just after 4pm yesterday when a 45-year-old Cork man was arrested at the scene of the bust along with a 56-year-old German national.

The father-and-son were then arrested in follow up searches in Crumlin while a 46-year-old Hungarian was arrested in Cork city.

All five are detained under the drug-trafficking legislation, which allows gardai to hold them without charge for up to seven days, and they were being questioned last night at Cobh, Midleton, Crumlin and Terenure stations.

Criminal charges are "very likely" against at least two of the suspects, according to sources.

The seizure was the result of a joint operation between the Garda National Drugs Unit and Customs with co-operation from Europol, Interpol and Dutch law enforcement agencies, who carried out intelligence gathering on the international drug smuggling gang.

The high purity cocaine came into the country in a consignment of tinned fruit stacked on pallets that arrived in a container at Cork Port from Rotterdam in the last few weeks.

The drugs originated in South America.

Meanwhile in a separate operation, gardai in Tallaght arrested a 42-year-old Dublin man after they seized €440,000 worth of prescription drugs.

hnews@herald.ie