Top cop says gangs are 'investing' in cocaine business again as the boom returns

Cocaine trade is growing with the improving economy
Cocaine trade is growing with the improving economy

With the economy starting to improve, criminal gangs are investing heavily in the cocaine business once again, according to the country's leading officer on drugs and gangs.

Speaking to the Irish Times the head of the Garda's Drugs and Organised Crime unit, Chief Supt Michael O’Sullivan, said that the recession had hampered the drugs trade but the recent improvement in the economy had seen the cocaine business begin to pick up again.

“The cash wasn’t there for people to buy cocaine and to import it,” he told The Irish Times.

“We have seen that over the last number of years. The downturn affected criminals too.

“It’s people with a lot of disposable income who buy cocaine. People partied and bought houses and cars, and people who partied had the money to buy cocaine.

“Over the past few years, they haven’t had the same amount of money.

“Therefore, if the gardaí take your stuff or arrest your people, you mightn’t come back as quickly because the market isn’t as steady and there isn’t as much disposable cash around.”

O'Sullivan says that during the downturn, as money became tighter, people turned to 'head shop' drugs, which were cheaper but he says that over the last two or three years criminal gangs have been 'investing' in the cocaine business again.

He said that is reflected in the increased number of seizures by the authorities.

Earlier today, a woman who had ingested €120k of cocaine pellets was stopped at Dublin Airport.