Five premises in Bantry searched as drugs seized

October 20th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Cannabis worth an estimated €140,000 was seized in a drugs raid in Bantry on Monday, but another, as yet identified substance, has been sent for analysis.

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A West Cork business was closed by the HSE’s Environmental Health Service following the seizure of an illegal substance worth €140,000.

Members of the drugs squad from Bantry, Cork and Dublin made the seizure after searching five premises in Bantry and one in Dublin.

The detection was made by a multi-agency team – comprising members of the Bantry, West Cork and Store Street drugs units – on Monday, October 12th.

Customs officers, as well as members of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, and the Environmental Health Service, were also involved in the operation. 

A garda spokesperson confirmed that the multi-agency approach was necessary because it involved an investigation into the suspected importation and processing, as well as the commercial sale, of synthetic substances and controlled drugs. 

The search operation, which involved approximately 50 personnel across all of the agencies, began in Bantry at 8am – with the Dublin search starting at 12pm – and it wasn’t until 2pm that afternoon that the officers had completed their task. 

Once the search was complete, an official with the Environmental Health Service served the closure order on the business under Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act regulations. A similar operation in the Bantry area, last January, resulted in the seizure of more than €300,000 of an illegal substance. The seven kilo haul on Monday relates to suspected cannabis, but gardaí say they have yet to specify the amount of synthetic, or possibly psychoactive, material that was seized as part of the same operation.

Official control samples of the substance were taken by members of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and they have been sent for analysis.

Two men – both of whom are in their 20s – were arrested on Monday and detained at Bantry Garda Station for questioning under the Misuse of Drugs Act. On Wednesday morning, gardaí confirmed the men had been released without charge and that a file is to be sent to the DPP.

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