Two cannabis factories growing 900 plants with elaborate equipment were discovered hidden in separate houses, it was revealed today.
Gardai raided a property in Mount Anville Wood in Stillorgan, south Dublin yesterday and found all of the upstairs was being used for the drugs enterprise, with a pot-growing system in each of the four bedrooms.
Some 500 plants and several kilos of cannabis grass were discovered while the rooms were fitted out with high-density lighting systems, reflective wall coverings, ventilation and extraction systems.
A 33-year-old woman was arrested at the scene.
The search was sparked by the arrest of a 33-year-old man at around 1pm by officers targeting drug-dealing in the neighbouring Blackrock area.
They stopped and searched a car at Drummartin Link Road, also in Stillorgan, and found five kilos of cannabis grass in the boot.
The total value of both seizures is estimated to be €600,000.
The pair were being held at Blackrock garda station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.
In a follow-up search another elaborate factory was discovered in a house on Headford Road in Kells in the early hours of this morning.
The property had been modified to accommodate the operation, with the electricity supply by-passed and an air extraction system in place.
Gardaí from the Meath divisional drugs unit seized 400 cannabis plants, three kilos of cannabis herb and cultivating equipment – valued at around €200,000.
Two males aged 16 and 21 were arrested and were being detained at Kells garda station under section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.
Meanwhile, three men were being questioned over the seizure of around €82,000 of cannabis in the capital.
Officers from the Garda National Drugs Unit and Organised Crime Unit stopped and searched a car and a van on the Ninth Lough Road in west Dublin at about 7pm yesterday.
During the search – part of an ongoing operation targeting the sale and supply of drugs in the area – they discovered 7kg of cannabis herb.
Three men, aged 31, 35 and 43, were arrested and taken to Clondalkin garda station, where they are being held under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.
In a separate search, officers uncovered a substantial quantity of cash during a raid of a house in Clonshaugh on Dublin’s northside.
A 19-year-old man was arrested and is being detained at Ballymun garda station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said there was a significant drugs industry out there that needed to be dealt with.
“As we found with some of the seizures of cocaine, heroin and indeed the so-called legal highs, there is a significant level of (drugs) industry out there, which we have to deal with and take out,” he said.
“Thankfully the demand isn’t what it was during the boom years but equally so there are people going down the road of cigarette smuggling and other avenues.
“It’s a constant battle and I’m under no illusion whoever comes after me will have exactly the same issues to deal with and there is no finishing line - there’s never a finishing line in relation to crime.”