DUBLIN, Ireland - Three major operations targeting the supply of illicit drugs in the Irish capital resulted in the seizure of cocaine and cannabis worth millions.
According to Gardai, the three operations were carried out by members of the Garda National Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau and supported by the Special Crime Task Force.
The operations reportedly targeted drugs that were intended to meet high demand in run-up to Christmas.
Officials said that the first operation was conducted at a shopping center car park at Liffey Valley, in which 35 kgs of cocaine was seized.
The haul of cocaine, which was worth an estimated value of 2.8 million euros was being transferred from between two cars in the car park at around 7 pm on Thursday evening - reportedly from a Dutch-registered car to an Irish vehicle.
Gardai teams are believed to have intercepted the transfer, seized the drugs, and carried out arrests on the spot.
Officials said that three men and one woman, all in their 40s, were arrested at the scene.
They noted that two of those arrested were Dutch nationals and all four people have been detained on suspicions of drug trafficking offences.
Those arrested in the operation have been detained at the Clondalkin, Ballyfermot and Lucan Garda stations and investigators suspect links to a north Dublin and a Meath-based criminal gang.
Following the operation, Gardai teams are said to have carried out a follow-up search at a house in Co Meath.
During the search, Gardai recovered cash amounting to about 50,000 euros.
The second major operation was conducted by Gardai from the Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau.
Investigators said that they had seized 45 kgs of cannabis herb from a van which was intercepted on the N7 at Rathcoole.
In the operation on Thursday, Gardai said that the drugs seized were worth an estimated street value of more than 800,000 euros.
During the operation, a man in his 40s was arrested over drug trafficking offences from Navan, Co Meath.
The man has been detained at the Clondalkin Garda station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.
Follow up investigations are currently on-going.
Gardai said that the third operation was conducted by members of the Garda Finglas drugs unit and led to the seizure of a large haul of cannabis resin.
Officials said that cannabis resin worth 210,000 euros was seized during the planned search.
A man was arrested during the operation.
In a statement issued to RTE, Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll said, "What we have is a situation where the gathering of intelligence has resulted in three separate seizures in a very busy hour between half six and half seven last night when the three interceptions took place."
O'Driscoll added, "The most significant one in Liffey Valley involved the Garda Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau intervening at a time when there was an alleged handover of a quantity of controlled substances that we believe to be cocaine. There was a Dutch vehicle and an Irish vehicle involved and it is believed the cocaine was being handed over by people who had occupied Dutch vehicle to those who were in the Irish registered vehicle."
He added, "Two of the people are non-Irish nationals, one is believed to be Dutch national and the other, a female, believed to be national of the Dominican Republic. Two Irish nationals were arrested also."