A high-level Irish-British police operation has hit a massive drug-smuggling operation involving a “major Turkish supplier”, Ireland’s biggest heroin trafficking gang, and a Dublin man known in celebrity circles.
The international Turkish dealer is one of three people arrested, along with an Indian drug trafficker and the Irishman.
Gardaí attached to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) seized 7kg of heroin in searches in Dublin and Meath, worth in the region of €1m on the street.
It is the largest haul of heroin since last November, when 15kg of the drug was intercepted.
But Garda sources said it was the high quality of the arrests that sets the seizure apart.
“A major Turkish supplier was caught,” said a source. “This is a massive success for us.”
Gardaí said the deal was being made at the time the DOCB swooped on the three men, aged in their 40s or 50s. The Indian national is also considered a significant trafficker.
The Dublin man is well known in celebrity circles and in the media.
Gardaí believe the Turkish national has been working in Britain until recently before being arrested in Ireland.
“This individual would have access to massive quantities of product,” said a source.
The Dublin gang that was purchasing the heroin is considered to be the “biggest heroin suppliers in the State”, one source said.
This outfit is led by two brothers from Ballyfermot, west Dublin, who have been importing substantial quantities of heroin for well over a decade.
They were a top target of the former Garda National Drugs Unit before that unit was subsumed into the DOCB in March 2015.
Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis of the DOCB said: “This substantial seizure of heroin will help keep our communities and people safe and will impact significantly on organised crime groups involved in the international drugs trade.”
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll of Special Crime Operations said: “This seizure of a large amount of heroin is the result of an intelligence-led investigation. This demonstrates the increased capabilities of the Garda Síochána, when working with our international partners, to keep people safe and target those who would attack our communities with drugs.”
Investigations are continuing nationally and internationally.