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€157m Drugs Seizure Is 'Largest In History Of State'

File image: @NiallJournal_ie/Twitter

It was taken by force in a military operation during which army rangers fast roped from the air onto the deck.

Gardaí have said more than 2.2 tonnes of cocaine, worth around €157m, has been recovered from a bulk carrier ship seized in a military operation off the coast of Cork, making it the largest seizure in the history of the State.

The ship MV Matthew is being searched and forensically examined in the port of Cork today.

The 25 crew members are being interviewed by gardaí, while three people remain in garda custody.

The Army Ranger Wing, backed up by Gardaí and the Naval Service, boarded the MV Matthew yesterday, with a number of warning shots fired during the operation.

The ship was brought to Cork Harbour where a large quantity of drugs were found onboard.

It is believed the vessel is linked to a fishing trawler that was detained by Naval personnel on Monday off the Wexford coast.

Three men, aged 60, 50 and 31 have been arrested and are being held at Garda stations in Wexford.

The bulk carrier left South America last month for Europe and gardaí and the Naval Service had been tracking it as part of an investigation into international drugs trafficking.

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