Millions of Euro worth of cocaine was today seized by gardai at Ringaskiddy Port in County Cork along the south of Ireland.

An Garda Síochána, through the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) and Revenue’s Customs Service, discovered the cocaine during a joint operation today, February 18, a press release said.

"During the course of the operation, approximately 172kgs of suspected Cocaine, with an estimated street value of €12.04 million, was seized in Ringaskiddy Port in County Cork. The drugs were discovered following an intensive search of containers that arrived on a vessel from Central America."

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, who is head of Organised and Serious Crime with the Garda Síochána, said:  “A joint operation undertaken today involving participation by An Garda Síochána, through the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the Revenue Customs Service, that resulted in the seizure of a substance believed to be cocaine with an estimated street sale value of 12.04 million euro, demonstrates the potential of collaborative working relationships involving partner agencies, in tackling importation of controlled drugs that harm our communities.

“The Garda Síochána will continue to work with others at a national and international level in targeting the importation and supply of illicit drugs and the organised crime gangs that benefit from such activity."

Mick Gilligan, Director, Customs Drug Law Enforcement, said: "Combating the smuggling of controlled drugs such as Cocaine into this jurisdiction, in collaboration with An Garda Síochána is a priority for Revenue. 

“Today, Revenue’s Customs Service deployed the full suite of our specialist search resources to control this vessel from Central America including our Container X-Ray Scanner, Drug Dog Detection Teams, Container Inspection Teams, and Deep Rummage Officers from our Customs National Maritime Service. 

“Today’s seizure of Cocaine will have a significant impact on organised crime and demonstrates the hard work that is undertaken every day by Revenue’s Customs Service and An Garda Síochána in confronting this threat.”

In January, the Irish Independent reported that gardaí seized €14m worth of cocaine in 2020, double the amount recovered in 2019.