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Amount of drugs seized at ports and airports falls by 400% over two years

The amount of drugs seized at Ireland’s ports and airports by Revenue customs officials has dec...
Eoghan Murphy
Eoghan Murphy

06.00 3 Mar 2020


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Amount of drugs seized at port...

Amount of drugs seized at ports and airports falls by 400% over two years

Eoghan Murphy
Eoghan Murphy

06.00 3 Mar 2020


Share this article


The amount of drugs seized at Ireland’s ports and airports by Revenue customs officials has decreased by more than 400% over the past two years.

The figures have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

These new details show the amount of drugs seized at four Irish airports – Cork, Dublin, Knock and Shannon – and three ports – Cork, Dublin and Rosslare – in recent years.

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They show a sharp drop in the value of substances recovered between 2017 and 2019.

In 2017, nearly €48m worth of drugs was recovered at the seven ports and airports.

The following year, the value of drugs seized dropped sharply, to €26m.

And last year, the total amount of drugs recovered dropped even more, to €9.3m.

Last year the most drugs were seized at Dublin Port, at €3.26m, followed by €2.8m in Rosslare Port and a little over €2.7m in Dublin Airport.

Security analyst Declan Power believes there's a simple reason for the decrease.

He said: "People are able to buy better quality drugs for less and I think this is reflected in the ways the patterns of seizure are being seen.

"Something like cocaine is not the preserve of the rich or even vaguely rich as it once was and we're seeing this spread out at a lesser amount across the country.

Revenue says seizures at ports and airports represent only a subset of those made by Revenue every year.

It says the main reason for the decrease in value of the seizures between 2018 and 2019 was because of three significant heroin and cocaine seizures in 2018.

In a statement, gardaí said: "Senior Garda Management are satisfied that a comprehensive policing service continues to be delivered and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the community."

Main image: The Revenue Offices in the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle. Photo: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

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