The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has congratulated An Garda Síochána and the various State and international bodies involved in a significant seizure of suspected controlled drugs off the South East coast today.
The co-ordinated operation, involving the Irish navy, Army Ranger Wing, Revenue and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, resulted in the “detention of a Panamanian-registered bulk cargo vessel originating in South America”.
The MV Matthew was detained in the early hours of Tuesday.
Three men, aged 60, 50, and 31, have been arrested on suspicion of organised crime offences and are detained at garda stations in Wexford.
Minister McEntee said:
“I would like to thank the members of the Joint Task Force including An Garda Síochána, Revenue Customs Service and Naval Service who, in co-operation with the Air Corps and Army Ranger Wing, successfully intercepted a major shipment of controlled drugs at sea today in challenging conditions.
I was briefed on this complex, intelligence-led operation by the Garda Commissioner and Assistant Garda Commissioner Justin Kelly yesterday and I am pleased to hear today of its success.
- This Operation has resulted in the detention of a bulk cargo vessel originating from Latin America with a significant volume of drugs on-board, which would have no doubt been destined for Irish and European markets. It will represent a blow to the organised crime gangs involved in drug distribution internationally.
- It is true testament to the importance and strength of interagency co-operation domestically, but also with our law enforcement partners internationally, including MAOC-N, the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) and French customs service DNRED all of which supported this operation.
- It once again shows the success of An Garda Síochána in building coalitions to tackle transnational crime.
Illegal drug distribution and misuse does untold damage to our communities. Criminals may seek to overcome the barrier of borders, but as shown today bordersare not barriers to effective criminal co-operation.
Tackling organised crime is a key priority for Government and is central to building safer, stronger communities. We will always provide An Garda Síochána with the support and resources they need.
I would like to thank and congratulate An Garda Síochána and their partners, at home and abroad, for their success today.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website Beat102103.com.