A major international police sting has smashed an attempt to smuggle a £2m (€2.3m) haul of cannabis into Ireland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Garda were involved in the operation, which led to the seizure of 200kg (441lb) of the drug in Greece. Searches were carried out on both sides of the Irish border. Matt Baggott, Northern Ireland’s chief constable, hailed the operation as a “great success”. “A drug seizure of this size would have infected many communities across the whole of the island of Ireland,” he said.
The two justice ministers, Alan Shatter in Dublin and David Ford in Stormont, said the recovery was made possible by intelligence-sharing and North-South co-operation. Europol, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, and law enforcement agencies in Greece were also involved. A lorry carrying 100kg of herbal cannabis was intercepted in Greece, which led investigators to a warehouse in Athens where a similar haul was discovered.
The driver of the lorry, a 36-year-old man from Northern Ireland, was arrested along with two other men, both Greek nationals. A fourth man, aged 34, was arrested in Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland raided a mixture of homes and businesses in Armagh and Tyrone. Items were removed for examination. Searches have also been carried out in Finglas, Dublin, as well as Allenwood, Co Kildare. A PSNI spokesman confirmed the force had members in Greece for the sting, which he described as one of the biggest Northern Ireland-related drugs seizures in recent times.
via : Guardian.co.uk
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