A MAN has been arrested after more than €3m worth of cocaine was discovered by gardaí during a search of a vehicle in Co. Wicklow on Thursday.
The discovery was made during a garda day of action as part of ongoing investigations into drug trafficking in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) and Eastern Region.
As part of the operation, a total of 37 residences, businesses and vehicles were searched throughout locations in Dublin and Wicklow.
The huge quantity of cocaine, weighing 44kg and estimated to have a value of €3.1m, was seized following a search of a van in Aughrim.
Gardaí said they detained a man at a garda station in the DMR in connection with the search under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.
A second man was similarly detained after €213,000 in cash was discovered at a residence in Clondalkin.
An additional €140,000 in cash was discovered in further searches, while more than €280,000 held in bank accounts was frozen.
Gardaí also seized eight vehicles — estimated to be worth more than €200,000 — as evidence of money laundering / proceeds of crime, as well as a quantity of jewellery, designer watches, electronic devices, laptops and smartphones.
The operation was led by the Serious Crime Investigation, Drugs and Specialist Support Units of the DMR South Division.
It was assisted by the Dublin Crime Response Team, the Garda Dog Unit, the Customs Canine Unit and the Armed Support Unit, as well as personnel from the Clondalkin, Blackrock, Dunlaoghaire, Bray and Wicklow Districts.