Suspect Irish drugs mule 'cut open' in surgery
Suspected Irish drugs smuggler had to be cut open in surgery to remove the contraband.
The man, from Galway, arrived at Shannon Airport at around lunchtime on Monday on a flight from Brussels.
Customs officers at Shannon stopped the man, suspecting that he was smuggling drugs. The man was taken away to a private room to be interviewed.
During the course of their inquiries, customs officers suspected that the 40-year-old had concealed drugs on his person.
Later at Shannon garda station officers became concerned about the man whom they suspected had ingested some drugs.
The man was taken to Ennis General Hospital on Monday evening where he underwent a "minor surgical procedure" to recover the drugs.
Afterwards 100g of cocaine and 50g of heroin, provisionally valued at €17,000, were recovered and handed over to gardai.
The man was discharged from hospital soon afterwards and returned to gardai for further questioning.
The man has since been released without charge. However, gardai confirmed that a file on the matter will be prepared and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A Revenue Customs spokesman said: "Officers from Revenue's Customs service in Shannon Airport stopped a 40-year-old Galway male whom they suspected of smuggling drugs.
He had arrived on a flight from Brussels.
"After interviewing the man, customs officers suspected the man had drugs concealed and called gardai. The man was arrested and, while in custody, it was discovered he had concealed 100g of cocaine and 50g heroin internally."
The drugs have since been sent to the Garda Forensic Science Laboratory in Dublin for analysis.
Customs officers at Shannon Airport made 28 seizures of drugs last year, recovering more than 19kg of contraband valued at €411,487.
There were almost twice as many seizures in 2007, numbering 52, which netted customs over 66kg of drugs worth €255,958.