WEXFORD, Ireland — Irish Authorities have confirmed that a cocaine haul worth 157 million euro has been seized off the coast of Ireland in a stealth military operation. The police said in media statements that three suspects were arrested and a significant amount of drugs seized from the vessel that ran aground off the coast of Wexford in Ireland.
Gardaí said the 2,253kg bust on the Panama-owned MV Matthew – the ‘mothership’ which the South American gangsters used to transport cocaine to Ireland and other European countries – was the “largest drug seizure in the history of the State”.
“Irish defense Forces Army Ranger Wing unit deployed to search vessel carrying cocaine off coast of Wexford,” said Michael O’Toole, a reporter on Twitter.
A senior member of the Irish police described the operation as “hugely significant”, while speaking at a media briefing in Dublin on Wednesday after the operation.
“It shows our unrelenting determination to disrupt and dismantle networks, which are determined to bring drugs into our country,” said Mr. Kelly, from the Organized and Serious Crime Unit.
“These groups are transnational groups. They are working all across the world and, because of that, we need to work with our international partners.”
Kelly said such a huge shipment as this couldn’t have come through the route it did in Irish waters “without an Irish organized criminal group being involved”.
“There was an extremely complex joint operation involving the Naval Service, the Air Corps, the Army Ranger Wing and Defense Force headquarters,” said Commander Tony Geraghty, fleet operations officer of the Irish Naval Service
A Multiagency operation responded to intelligence from a major international drug smuggling operation and put the vessel under surveillance from Friday last week.
Police reports sat that the 157 million euro cocaine haul seized when an elite army unit stormed a cargo ship off the Irish coast is the largest drugs capture in the history of the state.
Irish authorities do not believe the cocaine was solely destined for Ireland, given the scale of the haul. They suspect the drugs were being transported from South America for distribution across other European countries.
Edited by Virginia Van Zandt and Newsdesk Manager
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