NewsCrime Desk

€1.5m drug suspect might have been deported

€1.5m drug suspect might have been deported

GARDAI are investigating if a suspect who was arrested over a massive €1.5m cannabis growhouse was previously deported after serving jail time for a similar offence.

The Vietnamese national was one of two men arrested when Crumlin gardai raided a unit on the Ballymount industrial estate in south Dublin on Wednesday.

The Herald can reveal that gardai were last night trying to determine if one of the men, who claims that he is 54, was jailed for a growhouse offence in Co Carlow a number of years ago.

That individual was deported after completing a four-year jail sentence handed down at Carlow Circuit Court and officers are probing whether he is the same man who was arrested in this week’s raid.

Another Vietnamese man, who claims that he is 44, was also arrested. Both suspects were still being detained at Crumlin Garda Station last night.

In a follow-up search in the capital’s northside on Wednesday night, officers recovered €70,000 in cash when they raided the home of an Asian man who is involved in the restaurant trade.

Detectives believe that the cash is linked to the growhouse operation in Ballymount.

“This was a major seizure in what was a highly sophisticated growhouse,” a senior source said.

“What is unusual about this case is that one of the suspects may previously have been deported after serving jail time for a similar offence.

 “Crumlin gardai are working with their colleagues in Carlow and the Garda National Immigration Bureau to try to establish this man’s identity.”

The cannabis seized included 48kg of vacuum-packed bags which were ready to be distributed to dealers.

Almost 1,500 plants at various stages of maturity were seized and the unit was divided into six separate rooms.