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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Two arrests and €8 million in heroin seized as Gardaí intercept plane at Weston Airport

The airport, which is also a flight school, is located between Lucan and Celbridge.

LAST UPDATE | 12 hours ago

TWO MEN HAVE been arrested after Gardaí seized a plane and heroin worth €8 million at Weston Airport in Dublin.

The seizure comes after an extensive intelligence operation involving both Revenue and the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

It is the largest seizure of heroin in Ireland so far this year.

Gardaí hailed the operation, claiming it to be a “hugely significant” seizure of the drug.

The two men, who are in their 40s and 60s, have been arrested on suspicion of organised crime activity and are being detained in Kildare under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006.

The airport is located between Lucan and Celbridge, 13km outside Dublin city. It offers flight training for trainee pilots. 

It is also understood that two arrests have been made in connection with the seizure.

Gardaí continue to detain two men aged in their 40s and 60s arrested in connection with the seizure of €8 million of Heroin (analysis pending) in the course of a joint operation involving GNDOCB and Revenue Customs.

Both individuals are currently detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006, at a Garda station in County Kildare and can be held for up to seven days.

Following the operation, Assistant Commissioner for Organised and Serious Crime Justin Kelly said that law enforcement agencies worldwide are seeing an increasing use of “general aviation”, or non-commercial flights, to smuggle drugs.

“This is a hugely significant seizure of heroin, and the importance of disrupting criminal networks supplying this type of drug into our communities has been reinforced by the recent wave of overdoses in Dublin city centre,” Kelly said.

“I wish to commend the dedication and professionalism of all the personnel involved in this complex operation,” Kelly said.  

He said the multi-agency co-operation saw gardaí team up with Irish Customs and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC-N) in Portugal, which is the EU’s hub for analysing the drug trade coming into Europe.

Earlier this year, The Journal spoke to the MAOC-N in Lisbon as part of a look at drug smuggling operations in Ireland and across Europe.

Additional reporting by Eoghan Dalton