Gardaí in Dublin have made what is thought to be the biggest ecstasy haul in the country in recent years.
About 100,000 tablets — with an estimated street value of up to €1m — were seized on Thursday by the Dublin North Central Drugs Unit. A massive quantity of cannabis herb, around 40kg, estimated to be worth €800,000 on the street, was also seized.
Officers from the unit, based in Store Street Garda Station, were conducting an operation based on intelligence when they raided a house in The Strand area of Donabate.
Gardaí believe the sheer scale of the seizure has landed a significant blow to the operation of a major crime gang in north Dublin, as well as inflicting a significant financial loss.
A 36-year-old was arrested in the house during the search last Thursday and questioned under section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act, which allows for detention for up to a week. He was released from custody on Saturday and a file is being prepared for the DPP.
The haul of ecstasy, which gardaí said still has be analysed, is thought to be the biggest seizure of the dance drug since Feb 2007 when 180,000 tablets were seized in Clondalkin, west Dublin. Last April, 40,000 ecstasy tablets were seized in Coolock, north Dublin.
Senior gardaí have previously told the Irish Examiner that there has been a “huge increase” in demand for the stimulant since early 2012.
This is partly influenced by a surge in the production of high-quality MDMA, the active chemical in ecstasy, across Europe.
After many years of a drop off in the manufacture of MDMA, producers have once again been able to access chemicals known as precursors to make the drug.
The EU drug agency has previously reported on the availability of “high dosage tablets and high purity powder” on the market.
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