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Ó Snodaigh welcomes drugs seizure and calls for more Customs officials

28 September, 2006

Congratulating the Gardaí and foreign police forces on the massive heroin seizure in Belgium yesterday, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD emphasised the damage that would have been done had the shipment gone through. He went on to welcome reports that a review of security at smaller airports was anticipated, but pointed out that with too few customs officials to monitor existing airports, expansion of personnel available was inevitable.

The Dublin South-Central TD said: "The seizure of 50 kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of €10 million is cause for congratulations to the Gardaí, the CAB and the police forces in Holland and Belgium. If this massive drugs shipment had gone through the havoc it would have wreaked in Ireland is horrifying to contemplate. While there has been increasing media focus on cocaine abuse in recent times, large parts of Dublin are still struggling to resist the heroin trade, and it is increasingly common in towns throughout the country.

"But there are also questions to be asked in the aftermath of this success. There are numerous small airports or landing strips in Ireland. How secure are they? What measures are in place to monitor arrivals? This shipment was stopped by good intelligence work, but what is there to prevent the same method being used again by different drugs gangs?

"In that context I welcome reports that there is to be a review of security at smaller airports, but the reality is that there are currently too few customs officials to monitor Irish airports and serious consideration must be given to expanding the number of personnel available for this work."


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