Cocaine with an estimated street value of €1.75m — which was discovered in a container in Cork — was most likely destined for the Irish market.
Security sources believe the consignment, hidden in a container, could even have been destined to be distributed in the Munster region.
The 25kg of drugs were discovered by customs officers during a routine examination of a container, which was being unloaded at the Port of Cork.
The containers were being unloaded last Friday at the company’s deepwater terminal in Ringaskiddy when customs officers searched one of them and found a blue holdall containing a number of packages of cocaine, which had pictures of a tiger’s face on them.
The drugs had arrived on a ship, which had sailed from Central America.
Customs officials remained tight-lipped about the consignment due to operational reasons, as their investigation is continuing.
They are trying to trace who was to be the recipient of the 25kg, which was one of the biggest hauls taken from a container in recent years.
It is not unusual for drugs and contraband tobacco to be smuggled into this country. Most drug consignments have been detected at Rosslare port, but there have also been a number of discoveries at Cork and Dublin.
The seizure, yet again, points to a prolific cocaine supply line coming from Central and South America.
Cllr Chris O’Leary, chairman of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee, commended the customs officers for finding the cocaine, saying it would keep the drug off the streets.
The biggest cocaine seizures in recent years have been made by the Naval Service and, to date, its patrols have seized 4.2 tonnes of cocaine.
While a small proportion of the drugs may have ended up in Ireland, the vast majority had been destined for Britain.
In most cases, the drugs originated in Venezuela and Colombia and it is likely the that the cocaine seized in Ringaskiddy also came from South America.
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