More than 24 million euros of drugs were seized by gardaí in 2020 as the Commissioner of the Guard claimed that the term “recreational” drug use “is a dangerous abuse of language”.
The figures come as An Garda Síochána announced Operation Tara, a strengthened national drug strategy that began on July 1.
Gardaí said that by 2020, divisional drug control units in all Garda divisions had been resourced to prepare for the operation.
As of May 31, 321 members were assigned full-time to divisional drug units in each division of Garda.
In 2020, gardaí seized large quantities of cocaine and cannabis as well as a number of other drugs.
A spokesperson said the increase in the size of the divisional drug units had resulted in the seizure of large quantities of drugs and arrests.
Last year, the force seized more than:
- 137.8 kg of cocaine worth 9.5 million euros
- 368.6 kg of cannabis worth 7.3 million euros
- 41.4 kg of diamorphine worth € 5.8 million
- 28.4 kg / 32,000 amphetamines / tablets (MDMA / LSD / ecstacy) worth € 1.1 million
- 471,400 benzodiazepine tablets worth € 750,000
Operation Tara aims to “protect communities from the scourge of illegal drugs” and will focus on “individuals and groups involved in drug trafficking will be the target of law enforcement activities based on intelligence and the latest trends in drug trafficking. crime “.
Garda commissioner Drew Harris said anyone who uses illegal drugs is putting money in the pockets of the drug cartels.
“The term ‘recreational’ drug use is a dangerous misuse of language that hides the irreparable damage that illegal and dangerous drugs cause to individuals and to society,” said the Commissioner, speaking at the headquarters of the Garda.
“A current generation is suffering and will be lost in the face of the threat of this illegal drug use.
“Anyone who continues to buy and use illegal drugs inflicts untold harm on individuals under the coercive control of organized drug gangs in Ireland, puts money directly into the pockets of the drug cartels and is responsible damage to communities at home and abroad from drugs. “Comm. Harris said that under Operation Tara there will be” a particular focus on street level transactions. “
He said this type of trafficking is “devastating for the individual who buys the drug and their loved ones, it is also corrosive for local communities to have to witness it.”
“It is no longer the case that such transactions are limited to our cities and urban areas, they are now happening in cities and towns across the country.
“Operation Tara will tackle this scourge.
Gardaí highlighted some of the cases where additional resources for divisional drug units had an impact, including a large seizure in Tallaght.
Gardaí said that a drug unit executed a search warrant and located two large plastic barrels “containing 76.9 kg of suspected ecstasy tablets packaged in bags and 8.27 kg of suspected MDMA in blocks.
“The total of drugs seized is estimated at 5 million euros.”