Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 9, 2023


Ireland in record $166 million cocaine seizure after naval operation

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish rangers made the country’s biggest ever drugs seizure after a naval operation involving warning shots being fired at a Panamanian cargo vessel which had refused to follow instructions, authorities said on Wednesday.

The seizure of 2,253 kg (4,967 pounds) of cocaine worth an estimated 157 million euros ($166 million) came after members of the army ranger wing boarded the vessel off the country’s southeast coast using ropes dropped from a helicopter in high winds.

The vessel was registered in Panama and originated in South America and the product was supplied by “one of the murderous South American cartels behind cocaine shipments to Europe”, said Justin Kelly, assistant police commissioner for organised crime.

“I cannot overemphasise the significance of this operation and the disruption that this is going to cause the organised criminal group behind the shipment,” he told a press conference.

Kelly said the cocaine was partly destined for the Irish market and that the organised crime group comprised a number of different elements across Europe.

Three men aged 60, 50 and 31 have been arrested on suspicion of organised crime offences and Kelly said there may be further arrests. The bulk cargo vessel had a crew of 25.

The operation was conducted in collaboration with a group comprising five other EU member states and Britain. It follows other significant seizures in Spain, the Netherlands and Poland in recent weeks.

($1 = 0.9478 euros)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by David Holmes)


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