Revenue officers seized more than €4m in cannabis, cocaine and other drugs at Irish ports in the first three months of the year.
This included almost 100kg of cannabis.
Across Europe, drug enforcement officers are reporting a spike in people importing cannabis products. A new, EU-wide analysis by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction found drug users stocked up on cannabis products in February and March ahead of anticipated disruption during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sales decreased in average value but increased in volume, suggesting people are buying more for personal use and less for sale and supply. There was also a decline in the sale of synthetic drugs like MDMA, which are more freqently used in recreational settings.
In Ireland, anti-smuggling officers at Irish ports and airports seized €4.2m of illegal drugs in the first three months of the year, including 98.77kg of cannabis herb and resin, worth more than €1.9m.
It also includes some 22.1kg of cocaine and heroin, with a value of €1.5m, and some 3,214kg of amphetamines, ecstasy and other drugs, with a value of €704,000.
Revene has primary responsibility for the detection, interception and seizure of prohibited goods, including controlled drugs.
"Revenue has anti-smuggling teams at all main ports and airports and at the main postal depots, who routinely profile imports and exports and carry out x-ray examinations and physical examinations based on risk assessment, and with a focus on detention and seizure of smuggled and prohibited goods," a spokesperson said.
In 2019, Revenue seized €23.63m worth of illegal drugs at Irish ports, including 515kg of cannabis herb and resin, worth over €10m, and €4.5m worth of cocaine and heroin.
In 2018, €33m worth of drugs were seized, while in 2017, almost €60m in illegal drugs were seized at ports. This included almost €55m in cannabis herb and resin.