Gardaí have seized an estimated €35 million worth of cocaine hidden in 2,000 bags of charcoal in two shipping containers.
The containers arrived at Rotterdam Port from South America a number of weeks ago but were destined for Ireland. Dutch Police detained the shipment and have been liasing with Gardaí.
The Irish Navy and Customs and Revenue helped transport the containers to Ireland. Once they arrived at Dublin Port they were brought ashore under armed escort.
The containers appeared to be full of 20 kilo bags of charcoal. However, through utilisation of Garda dogs and a mobile x-ray scanner, anomalies were discovered in respect of a number of bags.
Forensic Science Ireland is examining the find to confirm the presence of cocaine. It's estimated the drugs could weigh half a tonne and have an estimated street value of up to €35 million. Gardaí say it will take a number of days and perhaps longer for FSI to extract the cocaine from the product within which it is concealed.
The investigation being undertaken by the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau continues to progress. It is anticipated a number of suspects will be arrested in the near future.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who is assigned to Organised and Serious Crime within the Garda Síochána said: