Value of seized drugs plummets in 2019

Cocaine seized by Revenue last November.

The amount of drugs seized at Ireland’s ports and airports by Revenue customs officials has decreased by more than 400% over the past two years.

The figures have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

These new details show the amount of drugs seized at four Irish airports – Cork, Dublin, Knock and Shannon – and three ports – Cork, Dublin and Rosslare – in recent years.

They show a sharp drop in the value of substances recovered between 2017 and 2019.

In 2017, nearly €48m worth of drugs was recovered at the seven ports and airports.

The following year, the value of drugs seized dropped sharply, to €26m, while last year the total amount of drugs recovered dropped even more to €9.3m.

Security analyst Declan Power believes there is a simple reason for the decrease.

Mr Power said: "People are able to buy better quality drugs for less and I think this is reflected in the pattern of seizure being seen.

Something like cocaine is not the preserve of the super-rich, or even the vaguely rich, as it once was. And you are seeing this spread out at a lesser amount across the country.

Revenue said seizures at ports and airports represent only a subset of those made by them every year.

It said the main reason for the decrease in value of the seizures between 2018 and 2019 was because of three significant heroin and cocaine seizures in 2018.

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