Ship docked at Foynes Port to be searched today after massive haul of cocaine discovered

Shannon Foynes

A MAJOR security operation involving Revenue Customs Service officials, supported by An Garda Síochána, following a massive cocaine seizure yesterday (Tuesday), is continuing this Wednesday morning at Foynes Port in County Limerick.

It is understood that around 300kg of cocaine was discovered in a bale on a cargo ship at the port, and that it was connected to a beacon, which indicates the haul was possibly intended to be picked up by another vessel.

The cargo bulk carrier is flying under a southern European flag and is understood to have started its route to Foynes from a port in Canada on December 9.

It arrived at Foynes at around 10.30am on Tuesday morning.

The 20,000-tonne vessel is believed to have been carrying a cargo of grain.

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A reliable security source said it appeared that a “significant” volume of drugs was discovered on board.

It is estimated the drugs haul has a street value of at least €20million.

Senior Garda sources remained tight-lipped on the operation, which they described as “very much a live operation”, one that was “being led by Revenue”.

A Revenue Customs Service spokesman confirmed that it was “undertaking a live operation” last night, but would not disclose any further details.

“No further comment is available at this time,” the spokesman added.

It is the second large cocaine seizure in the State in the past a few months.

In September, 2,000kg of cocaine, worth €157m – the largest seizure of its kind in the history of the State – was recovered when the bulk carrier, MV Matthew, was seized by authorities off the coast of County Cork.