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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Cocaine hidden among bananas - and heading towards Ireland - seized

The seizure is a major blow for Irish drugs gang, according to gardaí.

Updated 3 December, 7.25am

COCAINE WORTH OVER €50 million —- much of which was destined for the Irish market — was seized from a ship in Portsmouth on Monday.

Gardaí and the UK’s National Crime Agency co-operated on the operation.

The drugs were seized following a search of cargo vessel Star Stratos at the south coast English port on Monday night.

“Approximately 300 kilos were discovered concealed within a shipment of bananas which had originated in Colombia,” a Garda statement said.

“Gardaí believe that part of the consignment of drugs was destined for this jurisdiction and the seizure is a major disruption to elements of an Irish organised crime gang.

“The operation involved cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the NCA and will help to protect Irish Communities from the scourge of illegal drugs.

Investigations are continuing in both the UK and Ireland.

The operation is the second joint effort by the two law enforcement agencies in recent months to net a large-scale pay-off.

In September, around a tonne of cocaine was seized by the Irish Naval Service from the yacht Makayabella, around 300 miles off the south west coast of Ireland.

First published 2 December

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