Three men arrested in Waterford following international seizure of cocaine 4 months ago

Three men arrested in Waterford following international seizure of cocaine

The drugs had an estimated value of €3.5 million.

Three non-Irish nationals have been arrested at Waterford Airport following an international operation which spanned across Europe.

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The seizures and arrests were made as part of a joint operation between Gardaí, Swedish Police, the UK National Crime Agency and Interpol.

The three men were arrested after disembarking from an aircraft which had arrived from Belgium via an airfield in the United Kingdom midlands.

Shortly after the aircraft had landed in the UK, members of the UK National Crime Agency intercepted a car in the area.

50 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated value of €3.5 million was seized, and a man was arrested and subsequently charged.

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Upon the aircraft's arrival in Ireland on Wednesday (23 February), the plane was met by Waterford Gardaí, Revenue and a Customs dog.

€9,000 in cash and a number of mobile phones were seized, and the men were arrested for alleged offences under Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

The men were detained under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 at Garda Stations in the South East.

Following liaison with the UK National Crime Agency, Interpol, and Swedish Police, the identities of a Lithuanian Male in his 30s and 2 Swedish males in their 50s were confirmed.

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The aircraft remains detained by An Garda Síochána.

On Sunday (27 February), all three males were released from the provisions of their respective detentions, with investigations ongoing in co-operation with the Gardaí's UK, Swedish and Interpol counterparts.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of this international investigation.

All three men were re-arrested under European Arrest Warrants issued by the Swedish authorities and appeared before the High Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin on Monday (28 February).

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These men have been remanded in custody and are set to appear again before the High Court next Friday (11 March).