Last week, Gardaí seized over €100k worth of cannabis from a house in Galway (http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/1009/479382-cannabis-seizure/).
While drug seizures may not be as shocking to Irish society as they used to be, there have been a surprising amount of them of late. I took a look at some of the biggest hauls the country has seen in recent years.
Number 5: €650k heroin seizure in Dublin, October 2013.
- Three men arrested following a raid on an apartment at Crumlin Road, Dublin 12 and an apartment in West Part, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.
- Of the three men, two were released on bail.
- Mr Keith O’Brien (36) and Mr Paul Gantley (30) were released on a bail of €500 and €300 respectively.
- Both men were granted legal aid and are due to appear in court on 13 December.
Number 4: Irish couple arrested in Spain over €3 million cannabis haul, September 2012.
- The Irish couple were arrested on the Costa del Sol hours before a scheduled flight home to Co. Cork
- The Irish 57 year old businessman was believed to have been organising boats trafficking cannabis shipments from Morocco to Ireland.
- Spanish police intercepted a yacht with drug onboard off the Spanish coast shortly before the couple were due to depart for Cork.
- The seizure was the result of a joint effort between Gardaí and the Spanish police codenamed ‘Ciana/Fortuna’.
Number 3: 350 ecstasy tablets and 80 kilos of cannabis seized in €5 million drug-bust, Dublin, June 2013.
- The drugs were seized when Gardaí and Revenue’s Customs Service officials raided a building in Rosemount Business Park in Blanchardstown.
- A 41-year old male was arrested in connection with the seizure.
Number 2: Irish man arrested in €135 million cocaine drugs bust, August 2013.
- The Irish male was arrested by Spanish police in Gran Canaria.
- The man has been named as Mr Kenneth Qualtar, with an address in Co Tyrone.
- Mr Qualtar was one of five people arrested after Spanish police intercepted a yacht with 500 kilos of cocaine onboard.
- Two Spaniards were arrested, along with an American and an Australian women in connection with the raid.
- Firearms, gold bars worth €135k, satellite telecommunications equipment and three boats were also confiscated relating to the smuggling operation.
Number 1: €1.2bn cocaine seizure off the coast of Co. Cork, July 2008.
- In Ireland’s biggest drug smuggling operation three Englishmen were convicted.
- Joe Daly (41), Martin Wanden (45) and Perry Wharrie (48) were all convicted of attempting to bring 1.5 tonnes of high-purity cocaine into the country.
- A fourth man, Gerard Hagan (24) was also arrested in connection with the failed smuggling operation.
- The four men were believed to be part of a joint enterprise of up to 12 individuals.
- The drugs were being carried by an RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), with the three men onboard.
- The boat stalled after one of the men mistakenly fed the boats engines with diesel instead of petrol, leading to their capture.
- The cocaine shipment originated from Barbados.