Arrests after major drug seizure in Dublin

Thursday 06 November 2014 19.41
The men are being held at Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations
The men are being held at Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations

Gardaí have raided an internet drug distribution centre in Dublin using the encrypted network Darknet and seized almost €200,000 worth of cannabis, ecstasy and LSD.

Two men in their 30s have been arrested and are being questioned at Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations.

Gardaí said one of them is suspected to be a key figure in the distribution of drugs worldwide from Ireland.

The arrests are part of a worldwide investigation involving gardaí, European police forces, Interpol and the FBI.

Searches are continuing today in two other locations in Dublin.

Gardaí said it is the first time a suspect has been identified and drugs seized despite the use of encryption protection.

Operation Charge is an investigation into criminality on the internet, focusing on Darknet, an encrypted private peer-to-peer network, where users believe they can communicate with little fear of government or other interference or monitoring.

Officers from the Garda National Drug Unit, the Computer Crime investigation Unit, and the Criminal Assets Bureau raided a rented unit in a business park in south Dublin yesterday.

They discovered an encrypted computer connected to the Silk Road site, which has been used as an online marketplace for drugs.

They also discovered more than €180,000 worth of cannabis, ecstasy and LSD, which they believe was being sold in the US, Canada, Europe and Ireland.

A number of computers and documentation related to offshore accounts has also been seized.

A follow-up search in Harold’s Cross in Dublin resulted in the seizure of controlled drugs and documents relating to off-shore bank accounts in Switzerland, Belize, Poland and a number of other countries.

One of the men in custody was identified and targeted by the Garda National Drugs Unit.

Gardaí said it is the first time a suspect has been identified and drugs seized despite the use of encryption protection.