A large shipment of heroin, with an estimated street value of more than 12 million euros, arrested at Rosslare Europort has been described by Revenue as the largest seizure of the drug in the country.
The 88 kg loot was discovered and confiscated by officials during an intelligence operation at the port, and preliminary analysis revealed that the drugs were heroin.
The illegal drugs were discovered in a truck and flatbed trailer that was entering Ireland from mainland Europe and was stopped and searched by tax officials.
The product was discovered hidden in machines that were transported on the flatbed truck.
The search was carried out with the assistance of the Revenue mobile X-ray scanner and the detection dogs Sam and Flynn.
Mick Gilligan, senior officer in the Department of Investigation, Prosecution and Border Management at the Tax Office, said the seizure was the result of an extensive international investigation.
âThis is currently happening when Irish Customs, together with Customs Services in a number of European countries, are investigating the movement of heroin and other illicit drugs in machines.
âAs a result, we are profiling movements that are coming to Ireland and actually going elsewhere. Together with our international colleagues, we highlighted and profiled this special broadcast movement.
âWe had developed some information in collaboration with our EU partners and officials at Rosslare Europort used a range of facilities available to them, including the X-ray scanner and our dog detection team.
âBecause of this and the intelligence, they took a very detailed look at the devices used.
âBasically, due to persistence and very hard work with additional machines, we were able to determine that there was obfuscation. After examining the hiding place, we identified the 88 kilos of heroin. “
Mr. Gilligan explained that the machine in this situation was a lifting device that was very similar to an aerial work platform.
“Because of the telescopic arm, you have counterweights on the opposite side to keep things balanced,” he said. “These counterweights can come in different sizes and the counterweights were actually hollowed out and this was the cover that was used.”
Mr Gilligan was asked on the RTE news on One whether this largest heroin seizure in the state’s history was intended for the Irish market or beyond.
“The seizure is only one milestone in the investigation and there are currently investigations across Europe,” he said. âThe final destination is part of these inquiries and has yet to be finalized.
âThe size of the heroin market in Ireland would likely indicate that 100 pounds would not have been entirely destined for the Irish market, that at least a significant portion of that cargo would have been shipped elsewhere.
He added: âWe are very hopeful (it could lead to more seizures). There are a number of different customs services and law enforcement agencies from different countries that are actively involved in various aspects of this operation. “