Nicola Tallant talks to a former garda member who is now cracking down on cocaine smuggling across Europe
A half tonne of cocaine disguised as charcoal, which landed in Rotterdam, was seized at the port after an intelligence-led operation headed up by Irish gardai.
The drugs, worth more than €30 million, were destined for the Irish market where a generation of young and educated cocaine users are directly funding violent drug cartels who are getting filthy rich and ever more powerful.
So how does a half-tonne seizure affect the millionaire cocaine bosses and how can we ebb the tide of white powder flooding Europe?
This week, I’m talking to Michael O’Sullivan, the former garda who is the chief executive of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre in Lisbon.
He co-ordinates the efforts of seven countries: Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Portugal and the UK in tackling maritime drug smuggling in Europe.
He tells me how seizures of the ‘mother-load’ can damage even the biggest organised crime gangs, how Colombian Cartels have power bases in Rotterdam and Amsterdam to bribe and intimidate port staff and how a young generation of Irish high-flyers are making narco terrorists rich beyond their wildest dreams.