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Gardaí seize €8.4m of cocaine ‘flown into Co Longford on private plane’

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The light aircraft seized by Gardaí at a Co Longford airfield on Thursday. Photo: Gardaí.

The light aircraft seized by Gardaí at a Co Longford airfield on Thursday. Photo: Gardaí.

The light aircraft seized by Gardaí at a Co Longford airfield on Thursday. Photo: Gardaí.

Gardaí have seized cocaine with a value of €8.4m and a light aircraft in an operation targeting organised crime.

The 120-kilo haul was seized when officers attached to the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, supported by other units, intercepted two vehicles shortly after 6pm at two locations in the Lough Owel area of Co. Westmeath.

Along with the significant haul of cocaine, gardaí also seized a light aircraft at a commercial airfield in Co. Longford, where it is believed the drugs were flown to.

A commercial pilot who flew into Abbeyshrule Aerodrome in Co Longford yesterday was one of two men arrested in relation to one of the biggest cocaine seizures of the year.

The suspects aged 54 and 40 are being questioned at Ashbourne Garda Station following their arrests near Mullingar yesterday evening.

In the course of the garda operation, 120 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated street value of €8.4 million (subject to analysis) was recovered along with several communications devices.

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Follow-up searches were conducted at residential premises in Naas, Co Kildare and Waterford City.

The two men were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking contrary to section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and are currently detained at Ashbourne Garda Station.

Following the operation, Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, the Head of Organised and Serious Crime, said: "This operation has prevented a considerable quantity of dangerous drugs from making it onto our streets and causing significant harm to our communities.

"An Garda Síochána is committed, under Operation Tara, to disrupting and dismantling the organised criminal networks who profit from drug trafficking and impact so negatively on our society”.

Investigations are ongoing.


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