Three held after €3.2m heroin haul
By Tom Brady and Elaine Keogh
Saturday December 15 2007
Three men were in custody last night after an international police operation led to the seizure of a €3.2m shipment of heroin destined for the southside of Dublin.
The haul of heroin was shipped into Belfast from the Netherlands and was brought across the border by a gang based in Dublin and Kildare.
But as a result of an intelligence-gathering operation involving members of An Garda Siochana, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Dutch police, the heroin was seized and three men detained.
The haul was found in a Kildare-registered Nissan Patrol jeep, which was stopped by members of the garda national drugs unit at Collon, Co Louth shortly after 2pm yesterday.
The driver of the jeep, a 27-year-old man from Carbury, Co Kildare, was arrested by detectives.
Gardai also stopped an English-registered jeep on the southern side of Dundalk on the M1 and arrested a 45-year-old man from Templeogue, Dublin.
Both suspects were taken to Navan garda station for questioning under drug trafficking legislation. They can be detained without charge for a maximum of seven days.
A third suspect was detained by the PSNI on the northern side of the border.
The drugs were wrapped in 32 half-kilo bales and had an estimated street value of €3.2m.
The garda national drugs unit was backed-up by members of the national surveillance unit and the criminal intelligence section in an operation co-ordinated by the crime and security branch.
It followed a detailed international investigation involving An Garda Siochana working closely with the other police forces.
Senior garda officers are satisfied that the heroin was being brought southwards for distribution to criminal gangs in the Crumlin area of south Dublin.
They believe the intended distributors are members of a gang involved in the deadly Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.
This gang is led by a notorious gangster recently released from prison.
Gardai described the haul last night as a big success for international co-operation and said the seizure delivered a big financial blow to the Crumlin gangs.
A total of three vehicles were also seized in the cross-border swoops.
The heroin haul was taken last night to the forensic science laboratory for detailed examination, while further inquiries were being conducted to confirm the route used by the traffickers to bring the shipment into this country.
Meanwhile, gardai from the district drug unit in Bray seized 7,000 ecstasy tablets, with an estimated street value of €70,000, after a search of a house at Kilgarron Park in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.
A woman was detained at the house and taken to Bray garda station for questioning.
- Tom Brady and Elaine Keogh