89 arrested as Garda sting busts major cocaine factory

Gardaí busted a major cocaine factory as part of a nationwide sting involving 419 planned searches and 89 arrests for a range of crimes.

Of the searches:

* 98 were made in Dublin, resulting in 29 arrests;

* 89 were in the Southern region (14 arrests);

* 82 were in the South East (21 arrests);

* 63 were made in the Eastern region (five arrests);

* 52 were in the Northern region (three arrests);

* 13 were in the Western region (12 arrests).

Detectives seized 5.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of €385,000, along with a large amount of cash and drug paraphernalia, when they raided a house in Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, south west Dublin.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in the search, which was conducted by the Drugs Unit in Tallaght, assisted by the Dublin Metropolitan Region South Division Crime Task Force.

A Garda spokesman said the operation, code-named Wireless III, was co-ordinated by the Garda National Support Services at Harcourt Square and conducted on Tuesday morning.

“There have been a total of 419 planned searches carried out nationwide resulting in 89 arrests for a range of offences including robbery, burglary, theft, handling stolen property, possession of drugs and firearms offences,” said the source.

He said that five European arrest warrants were executed, all for Polish nationals, by the Organised Crime Unit and Gardaí from Extradition Section at Garda Headquarters, for offences arranging from assault and robbery to extortion, fraud, and drugs offences. All suspects were due to appear before the High Court.

The spokesman said a search was carried out by gardaí attached to DMR North at a yard in Balbriggan, in north Co Dublin.

“They were assisted by officials from Department of Social Welfare, Customs Officials from Revenue, and Gardaí from the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, NBCI [National Bureau of Criminal Investigation].

“This resulted in parts for up to eight stolen vehicles being recovered. These investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made to date.”

In the previous installment of the operation, code-named Wireless II, in Nov 2012, gardaí arrested 113 people and recovered €3.5m-worth of cannabis plants from grow houses.


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