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Largest cannabis haul in State's history linked to convicted Irish trafficker

Early investigations have pointed gardaí towards two of the country’s most powerful drug trafficking cartels.

Cannabis haul discovered Source: PA Archive/PA Images

THE SEIZURE OF €37.5 million worth of cannabis has been linked to a notorious Irish criminal who fled the country to avoid being killed.

More than 1,800 kilos (nearly two tonnes) of herbal cannabis was found in wooden containers in Dublin Port yesterday afternoon.

The value of these drugs is estimated by gardaí at €37.5 million, making it the biggest seizure of drugs on Irish land. Higher quantities of drugs have been seized by officers before. However, these have been made at sea.

Although not believed to be directly linked to the Kinahan/Hutch feud, security sources believe that the operation was the brainchild of a convicted drug distributor who now lives outside of Europe. He is still believed to be pulling the strings of a large drug empire which brings cannabis and cocaine into Ireland and the UK.

The drugs are said to have originated in Africa, a location the suspected trafficker usually procures his cannabis consignments.

There are only a very small number of criminal gangs who would be able to move such a large amount of drugs, according to security sources.

“It essentially leaves two groups. The link between the two hasn’t been ruled out. The investigations are at a very early stage,” one source told

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Gardaí, along with Revenue, had been working on intelligence they had received in the last month. They were aware that a large amount of drugs were to be moved at the start of the year, meaning that surveillance details carried out by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) had been heightened in recent weeks.

In a statement released yesterday evening, gardai said they conducted a “joint intelligence led operation with Revenue, the drugs & organised crime bureau supported by officers from the Dublin region.

A garda spokesman said: “This investigation resulted in the identification and interception of a consignment which arrived into Dublin. A subsequent search today the has resulted in the seizure of 1,873 kilos of herbal cannabis.

“The controlled drugs seized have an estimated street value of €37.5 million. Joint investigations are continuing both domestically and internationally with regard to this significant seizure of controlled drugs destined for the Irish market.

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