Haul could have halved price of cocaine here
Wednesday July 04 2007
THE €200m west Cork drugs haul would, if it hit Irish streets, have halved the price of cocaine within a week.
The startling admission came as gardai stressed that they are convinced the haul - which weighs 1.5 tons - was not destined for Ireland.
Detectives believe that only a tiny portion of the drugs would ever have hit the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick - possibly as a 'thank you' from the international drug smugglers to an Irish gang for their provision of local logistics.
But the bulk of the haul was destined for Britain - where the key cocaine markets are in London , Manchester and Birmingham.
Due to a number of factors, the cocaine is worth vastly more to the international drug gangs on the British market than here.
However, the staggering value of the shipment has thrown the spotlight on Ireland's alarming surge in cocaine use.
Leading medical officials, such as A&E consultant Dr Chris Luke and addiction councillors, have warned that cocaine abuse and the dramatic growth in supply of the drug now poses the single greatest public health threat to Ireland.
In the whole of last year, the Gardai and Customs & Excise recovered a total of €100m of drugs.