Gardaí have begun targeting Lithuanian drug gangs building up links in Cork, Limerick, Cork, Galway, and Dublin.
Garda believe the ringleaders are using fellow Lithuanians as pawns and mules to deliver drugs.
The drug mules arrive in Ireland with no money or identification, according to a Garda source. Some are also gaining entry without valid travel documents or no travel documents at all.
Most are put up in bedsit-type accommodation and used by senior gang members to deliver drugs to other low-level gang members, who then sell on the cocaine and cannabis in ready made deals.
The senior ranking members are heavily armed and will use maximum force if necessary.
The mule typically cuts up the drugs and puts them into small plastic drug deal bags ready for sale on the streets. They are then given a bus or rail ticket and a location where they transport the drugs and make drops to other low-level members.
The mules, who are the ones taking all the serious risks, are given very little money for their efforts.
“Those involved in distributing the gang’s drugs usually have no means, and are only brought into the country for a few weeks, making them less likely to find opportunities for work or to gain social welfare,” said the source.
Gardaí believe the Lithuanian gangs move through the main cities quickly, avoiding the courts as they are not in any one location for long periods.
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