Gardaí are working closely with international agencies to determine the source and ultimate destination of several large parcels of illegal drugs discovered off the coast of Donegal.
Cocaine weighing a total of around 60kg and valued in excess of €4 million was found washed up on two Donegal beaches in large parcels.
A large-scale search operation was launched after the packages, wrapped in black plastic and bound with ropes, washed up at Ballyheirnan Beach in Fanad and Tramore Beach in Fanad in July.
Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken said the investigation, which is being led by Milford-based Superintendent David Kelly, is ongoing, while a dedicated drugs unit will be active in the Donegal Division by the end of the year.
“The issue of the drugs which were washed ashore, is ongoing,” Chief Superintendent Glacken told a meeting of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee on Friday in Lifford.
“We do work with international colleagues and other people and it remains a live investigation. An Garda Siochana’s Coastal Watch works with the Revenue, Coast Guard and the Irish Navy and we are fully aware of the information and resources available to us.
“The coastline is policed by other agencies of the State. We work with Europe and INTERPOL and we share information regarding suspicious activity and movement of personnel.”
A fishing vessel, a Cleopatra 38, was impounded at Magheroarty pier as part of the probe into the find – the largest consignment of drugs located in a find in Donegal.
Chief Superintendent Glacken told the JPC that the importation of drugs remains ‘an area of concern’ to An Garda Siochana.
As well as the significant finds of cocaine on the remote Donegal beaches, a further €123,384.60 worth of drugs and drug-related cash has been seized in the Donegal Division so far in 2023.
“There is a lot of good work being done in relation to drugs,” Chief Superintendent Glacken said.
“We are in the process of establishing a full-time drugs unit. There will be a permanent dedicated resource across the Division. It will probably be up and running by the end of October. It will cover all of the county.”