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Garda Press Office

Kinahan group suspected of involvement in plane carrying cocaine worth €8.4 million into Longford

It is believed the large shipment of drugs was due to be distributed to various parts of the country.

LAST UPDATE | 5 Aug 2022

THE KINAHAN ORGANISED crime group is believed to be involved in a smuggling route which has been targeted by a garda operation, resulting in the seizure of 120 kilos of cocaine and a light aircraft.

It’s understood the aircraft flew the drugs into Co Longford. The plane is thought to have originated in France before touching down in Ireland.

It is believed that the large shipment was due to be divided up into smaller packages and distributed to drug dealing gangs in various parts of the country.

The situation emerged after officers attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau intercepted two vehicles, shortly after 6pm yesterday, at two locations in the Lough Owel area of Westmeath.

Gardaí said 120 kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of €8.4 million (subject to analysis) was subsequently recovered along with several electronic devices.

The drugs were found in a suitcase as well as several other sports bags.

Follow-up searches were carried out in Naas, Kildare and Waterford City, as well as at a commercial airfield in Longford where a light aircraft was seized.

Two men, aged 54 and 40 years, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and are being held at Ashbourne Garda Station. One man is from Waterford while the other is from Eastern Europe. 

Following the operation Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, the Head of Organised and Serious Crime said:

“This operation has prevented a considerable quantity of dangerous drugs from making it onto our streets and causing significant harm to our communities.

“An Garda Síochána is committed, under Operation Tara, to disrupting and dismantling the organised criminal networks who profit from drug trafficking and impact so negatively on our society.”

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