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Pair held over €1.2m cocaine haul after gardai's M2 swoop

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Some of the estimated €1.2m of cocaine seized by gardai

Some of the estimated €1.2m of cocaine seized by gardai

Some of the estimated €1.2m of cocaine seized by gardai

Detectives have seized more than €1m of cocaine after swooping on two men during a drugs handover close to the capital over the weekend.

The men, from Sligo and Dublin, were arrested during the operation along the M2 motorway near Ashbourne in Co Meath on Saturday.

The suspects were under surveillance as part of an intelligence operation when gardai observed the pair carry out a drugs handover.

A short time later detectives stopped two cars along the M2 and arrested them under drug trafficking legislation.

One of the men is a 62-year-old who lives in Sligo, while the younger man, a 35-year-old, lives in the Tallaght area of Dublin.

A source told the Herald that both men were operating under the garda radar and they are now attempting to establish which criminal gang the drugs are linked to.

"These two are suspected of involvement in the transport and handing over of drugs and are on the lower end of the criminal ladder, and have not been on the radar for involvement in organised criminality," the source said.

During a search of one of the vehicles, gardai recovered cocaine with an estimated street value of €1.2m.

The two men remained in custody last night at Ashbourne Garda Station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drugs Trafficking) Act. They can be held for up to seven days.

Revenue

A garda spokesman said that the seizure was carried out "in the course of an intelligence-led operation targeting organised criminality, involving personnel attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) supported by the Garda National Crime and Security Intelligence Service".

The spokesman added that the operation was also undertaken with the help of the Revenue Customs Service.

Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis, head of the GNDOCB, said that the seizure was another example of the relentless effort by gardai in targeting organised crime.

"An Garda Siochana is committed to continuing to disrupt the activities of organised criminals supplying drugs to our communities," Det Chief Supt Willis said.

"This seizure of a substantial quantity of cocaine today is another example of our relentless efforts to disrupt this supply, enabling us to keep people safe."

The cocaine seizure is the latest success for the GNDOCB, which has recovered thousands of euro in cash and drugs in recent months, as well as several firearms.

On July 1 detectives, as part of an inquiry into serious organised crime, found seven firearms following a search in west Dublin.

No arrests were made and gardai are attempting to establish if the weapons were linked to the Kinahan cartel, or a separate Dublin-based criminal group.