EIGHT MEN have been arrested after Gardaí seized thousands of cannabis plants, with an estimated street value of €4.6 million, in coordinated raids yesterday.
The plants were seized in raids in Longford, Westmeath, Louth, Wexford, Dublin and Mayo.
The largest raid was in Longford, where about 1,700 cannabis plants were seized. The four men arrested in connection with that haul are being detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.
Another 1,600 plans were seized at a premises in Drogheda Business Park, where two men were arrested and are being detained under the same legislation.
A further 1,000 plants were taken from an industrial unit in Athlone and a commercial premises in Campile, Co Wexford, with one man arrested from each location.
An industrial unit was also searched in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, where 500 plants were removed, while a residential house in Foxborough Hall in Lucan was also searched, though no drugs were sized from the latter location.
Gardaí said the arrests formed part of Operation Nitrogen, its intelligence-led operation against cannabis cultivation.
A spokesman added that investigations were ongoing.