Light aircraft and €8.4m worth of cocaine seized in garda searches

The drugs were discovered in the Lough Owel area of Co Westmeath
Light aircraft and €8.4m worth of cocaine seized in garda searches

Muireann Duffy

Gardaí have seized 120kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of €8.4 million and a light aircraft following a series of searches across multiple counties.

Officers attached to the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, supported by other national units, intercepted two vehicles shortly after 6pm on Thursday at two locations in the Lough Owel area of Co Westmeath.

The drugs were recovered along with several communication devices.

Follow-up searches were conducted at residential properties in Naas, Co Kildare and Waterford City, while a commercial airfield in Co Longford was also searched by officers.

As a result of the Longford search, the light aircraft was seized by officers.

An estimated €8.4 million worth of drugs was seized by Gardaí as part of Operation Tara. Photo: Garda Press Office.

Two men, aged 54 and 40, have since been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

They are currently being held at Ashbourne Garda station under provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.

Garda Assistance Commissioner Justin Kelly, head of serious and organised crime, said the operation has prevented "a considerable quantity of dangerous drugs from making it onto our streets and causing significant harm to our communities".

The operation was carried out under the ongoing Operation Tara, which seeks to disrupt and dismantle the organised criminal networks involved in the sale and supply of drugs in the State.

Gardaí said investigations into the matter are ongoing.

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