The British National Crime Agency highlighted its “close working relationship” with Gardaí in assisting with the interception of a major heroin haul in Ireland.
The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau said a joint operation with the NCA led to the arrest of three people, including two international traffickers. Some 7kgs of heroin was seized, worth in the region of €1 million.
The DOCB conducted surveillance on the three men and carried out searches in a number of locations in Dublin and Meath.
It led to the arrest of a Turkish national, described as an international trafficker with access to “massive quantities” of heroin.
A second man arrested is an Indian man, also thought to be a major supplier of the drug. He had been relatively recently released from custody in Britain.
The third man arrested is known in celebrity and media circles in Ireland but does not have a significant drugs record.
Gardaí suspect that the country's biggest heroin trafficking gang, led by two brothers from Ballyfermot, west Dublin, were purchasing the heroin from the foreign dealers.
Commenting on the investigation, Gerry McLean, NCA Regional Head of Operations, said: “Stemming the flow of class A drugs is a top priority for the NCA and this significant seizure of heroin was assisted by our close working relationship with An Garda Síochána.”
He said: “The heroin trade feeds addictions that put users' lives at risk, while giving rise to crime which makes people feel unsafe in their communities.”
Mr McLean added: “The NCA works with partners in the UK and around the world to target and disrupt those organised crime groups that operate across borders and pose the biggest threat to the public."
The NCA has been involved in numerous operations with specialist garda units.
The three men, aged in their 40s and 50s, were arrested following a surveillance operation on Saturday leading to searches early on Sunday morning.
The weekend haul is the largest seizure of heroin since last November when 15kgs of the drug was seized.