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weeded out Eastern European crime gang based in Leinster were targets of garda €1.18m cannabis op

58 kilos of cannabis were seized in the joint operation with customs officers

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Part of the massive haul in Killkenny

Part of the massive haul in Killkenny

Part of the massive haul in Killkenny

A prolific Eastern European crime gang who have been operating a drugs trafficking network throughout Leinster were the target of a joint garda and customs operation which led to the seizure of €1.18 m worth of cannabis herb yesterday.

Two male suspects aged in their 20’s and 40’s are currently being detained at Kilkenny Garda Station today where they are being questioned under drugs trafficking legislation.

The older man is well known to gardai and has worked as a legitimate courier in the south east for a number of years.

Sources say that during the course of this employment he got involved in a “bitter dispute which ended up criminal in nature” with other Eastern European couriers.

“Since then he has become involved in a fairly significant organised crime grouping,” a source said.

The courier was arrested yesterday in Kilkenny when it is suspected that he was on his way to collect the huge drugs haul which had already been seized by customs officers at a local industrial estate as part of a surveillance operation which tracked the drugs after the cannabis entered Ireland.

Gardai announced details of the seizure today.

“On Thursday 7th of October 2021 as part of ongoing investigations targeting persons suspected to be involved in an organised crime group operating in the Kilkenny area, a Joint Operation was conducted by personnel attached to the Revenue Customs Service and the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB),” a spokesman said.

“During the course of this operation 59kgs of Cannabis with an estimated street value of €1,180,000 (€1.18 Million) was seized by Revenue Officers.

“Gardaí arrested a man aged in his 20s at the scene and he is presently detained at Kilkenny Garda Station. A vehicle was subsequently intercepted in the Kilkenny area and Gardaí arrested a man aged in his 40s and he is also detained at Kilkenny Garda Station. Both men are detained pursuant to Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996,” he added.

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