Cocaine hidden in champagne and wine seized in €2m drug operation linked to Kinahan cartel

Seven people were arrested after Garda in the Republic seized more than 2 million euros worth of drugs and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash linked to the Kinahan cartel.

In one operation, cocaine hidden in champagne and wine was found by guards, and in another operation in Dublin, gang associates were arrested in coordinated searches.

Among those detained are both Irish criminals and foreign nationals suspected of being involved in drug trafficking networks on an “international level”.

On Wednesday, detectives searched private property in the Beaumont area, where they seized bottles of wine and champagne.

The alcohol has since been technically investigated and is suspected to contain cocaine in liquid form, with an estimated market value of €150,000.

One man in his 20s was arrested during this confiscation and is currently being held for drug-related offenses at Ballymun Garda.

In another operation, Drug Enforcement and Organized Crime (DOCB) security guards intercepted a vehicle traveling on the M50, and subsequent searches were carried out in Palmerstown and South Dublin.

A number of suspects attempted to flee the Guards during the operation by swimming across the River Liffey, but were later arrested.

During the searches, cocaine, cannabis and heroin with a retail value of about 2 million euros were seized, as well as hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

Money counting and vacuum packaging machines, encrypted communication devices and a “significant amount” of documentation have also been seized and are being investigated.

Six men between the ages of 20 and 40 were arrested as part of this operation and are being held under drug trafficking laws at various police stations.

It is understood that the prisoners include people from north Dublin who have close ties to criminals serving long sentences for murder conspiracies carried out in the name of the Kinahan cartel.

Garda believes they continued to operate a network of drug dealers in the capital on behalf of an international criminal group that was subject to U.S. government financial sanctions in April.

Garda Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, in charge of the force’s response to serious and organized crime, said people who were operating at significant levels of crime were arrested.

“The results of the operational activities undertaken by the Garda National Directorate of Drugs and Organized Crime, with the support of several other specialized units within the Garda Siochana, over the past twenty-four hours are very significant and reflect exceptional police skills along with the dedication and courage on the part of the personnel.

“From the global perspective of the drug supply chains that deliver drugs to cities and towns in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and elsewhere in Europe, Garda Siochana has developed particularly strong and productive relationships with law enforcement in many countries around the world. the number of continents.

“Today, Garda Siochana and the people of Ireland are once again reaping the fruits of Garda Siochana’s activities at the global level.

“A large amount of drugs was seized, as well as a significant amount of money, allegedly obtained from drug trafficking. Individuals believed to be prominent in the world of organized crime have been identified and arrested. identified and violated, and a new method of hiding controlled substances has been identified and disclosed,” added Mr. O’Driscoll.