Twenty-seven firearms and a massive haul of drugs were seized today as two men were arrested in an international police operation against a trafficking gang.
A 42-year-old Irish man was detained in north Dublin and a second man was held in Belfast as a dozen raids were mounted along the east coast.
Twenty kilos of heroin and 10 kilos of herbal cannabis, with an estimated street value of €4 million were recovered.
In the Republic, a mini-arsenal of weapons was taken off the streets including four automatic handguns, silencers and pistols. A number of firearms were also recovered in the north.
Gardaí, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Dutch police were all involved in the intelligence and surveillance led operation which has run for several months.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the arrests had damaged a powerful European drugs trafficking network.
“We believe that this operation has made significant inroads into an international organised crime gang involved on a large scale in the importation of drugs and firearms into Ireland and the United Kingdom,” he said.
The PSNI confirmed one man was taken into custody and a number of firearms seized in Belfast. The suspect was being questioned in the serious crime suite in Antrim.
Gardai said the second man was arrested in the Santry area and taken to Blanchardstown Garda station under anti-drugs trafficking law.
The Commissioner added: “This extensive operation could not have been successfully concluded without absolute co-operation across all three jurisdictions.
“It is an example of what is being achieved in our efforts to provide a safer living environment for all law-abiding members of the community through the removal of guns and drugs from our streets.”
British, Irish and Dutch customs officials were also involved.