Latest: Two men charged and refused bail in relation to Kinahan cartel operation

Gardaí at the scene of Wednesday's drugs seizure in Ashbourne

Update 11.17am: The two Dublin men have appeared in court this morning charged in connection with the seizure of just over €6m worth of drugs in Co. Meath on Wednesday.

Michael Smullen from Ashdale Close, Kinsealy, Co. Dublin and Keith Donoghue from Clonshaugh, Dublin 17 were arrested yesterday afternoon when Gardaí raided a lock-up in Muckerstown, Co. Meath.

At their court appearance this morning, Det Garda William Armstrong said it would be alleged they were working a conveyer type system whereby Mr. Smullen was making boxes from flat packs while Mr. Donoghue filled them with cannabis.

Detective Armstrong said 311 kilos of cannabis with an estimated street value of €6.2m was seized from the shed and he said it was his belief they were preparing the drugs for further distribution.

Both men are charged with possession of drugs and with possession of drugs for unlawful sale or supply.

They were both refused bail this morning and remanded in custody for a week.

Update 6.52am: Two men are due in court this morning charged in connection with Wednesday’s massive drugs seizure in Co Meath.

They were arrested when Gardaí uncovered over €7m worth of cannabis and cocaine hidden in two storage units in Ashbourne.

The men - who are both in their thirties - are set to appear before a sitting of Trim District Court at 9am.

They were among a number of people who were arrested here and in the Netherlands, as part of an international operation targeting gangland crime.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll says Gardaí are taking a multi-phase approach to gangland crime.

"It’s sort of a three-pronged approach to dealing with organised crime," Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll explained.

"We’re dealing with the threat to life, we’re also dealing with trying to get take the illicit products that they are engaging in selling off the streets and thirdly, we are trying to follow the money trail."

Yesterday, a series of searches were carried out in Amsterdam by Dutch police and five people were detained.

Dutch police have said that the eight people arrested in the Netherlands include two men from Limerick and one from Dublin.

The rest comprises of four Dutch men and one Belgian.

Officers in the Netherlands seized 175kg of cocaine, cannabis, vacuum-packed cash, computers, encrypted phones and bitcoin.

Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll, who is liaising with Dutch police in the Netherlands said that there were 13 bolts on a heavy metal door of one of the apartments raided.

Speaking from the Europol headquarters in the Netherlands, he said the operation has a strong international dimension.

He said: "We have been liaising with a number of law enforcement agencies. There is a realisation across a number of member states in Europe that when we combine our information we can have a greater impact on these crime gangs."

Meanwhile, Gardaí have said the Dublin end of the operation netted almost €400,000 worth of heroin, cocaine and cash.

Garda image of some of the drugs seized as part of the operation

Yesterday, during a search at a house at Kilmainham Bank, Dublin 8, officers seized heroin with a street value of €25,000, €6,000 in cash and three imitation firearms. A man in his 50s was arrested and detained under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act at Kilmainham Garda Station.

In another search at Basin Street, Dublin 8, around €1,000 worth of heroin was found and a man in his 40s was arrested and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Kilmainham Garda Station.

Another man was arrested on foot of existing bench warrants at an address in McCarthy Terrace, Dublin 8, and he has been brought to court and remanded in custody.

During another search at Berry’s Close, Inchicore, Dublin 8, a number of packages wrapped in plastic were seized. They said they held 3.5kgs of a "powder-like substance" which they believe is heroin and cocaine. They have been valued at €350,000.

A car has also been seized for technical examination.

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