Customs officers at Irish airports seized almost 300kg of cannabis during EU-coordinated operation

Customs officers at Cork, Shannon and Dublin airports seized almost 300kg of cannabis and an array of other drugs as part of an EU-coordinated operation targeting the trafficking of drugs into European airports from the Americas.

The operation culminated in an “action week” last December involving a number of European and UN agencies as well as Interpol.

A total of 36 countries participated, including EU member states, South and Central American countries, some West African nations as well as the US and UK.

Spanish authorities led the initiative with the support of Europol, the EU police agency.

Some 61 airports took part in the massive operation, resulting in the seizure of 356kgs of cannabis, 354kgs of cocaine and over 100kgs of other drugs.

Europol said there were 46 arrests.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Revenue confirmed Customs officers at Shannon, Cork, and Dublin airports took part.

“Revenue actively engages with its national and international law enforcement partners as part of our ongoing operations targeting the importation of illegal drugs,” the statement said.

“This engagement includes our involvement in the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) programme.”

It said the EMPACT programme targets the most significant threats posed by organised and international crime affecting the EU, including the trafficking of illicit drugs.

“The operation your query refers to was a Europol-supported Spanish-led action week targeting drug trafficking via airports, and focused on checks of passenger and cargo traffic on both direct and connecting flights, mainly from the Americas.

“Figures in relation to seizures made by Revenue during the course of this operation are as follows: 272kg herbal cannabis, 10kg cannabis hemp, almost 2kg of cannabis resin, 50 grams of Butane Honey Oil, 2.2 litres of Gamma Butyrolactone and 2kg of psychoactive substances.”

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