Ireland has had its largest-ever drug bust after a ship was raided containing 2,253kg of cocaine. The Panamanian registered ship, named the MV Matthew, was raided by the elite Army Ranger Wing. The estimated value of the cargo is said to be €157 million. 25 individuals were onboard the ship, but only three men, aged 30, 51, and 60, have been arrested so far.
The ship was headed for the port of Belfast, however, after engine trouble it changed destination to Cork. There were reportedly two shots fired when the ship was being pursued off the coast of the County of Cork to deter the ship from pursuing escape.
In a press conference this morning Garda assistant commissioner Justin Kelly stated the cargo was supplied by a “murderous” South American cartel. However, the ship wouldn’t come through Irish waters “without an Irish organised criminal group being involved”. He refused to comment on whether the powerful Irish Kinahan criminal group was involved and stated a “number of different groups” have the capabilities to be involved in the operation.
In this video released online Irish officers can be seen abseiling onto the ship.
Video filmed from an Irish Air Corps aircraft above the MV Matthew shows the Army Ranger Wing abseiling onto the deck of the container ship off the coast of Waterford. Credit: @defenceforces
— TheJournal.ie (@thejournal_ie) September 26, 2023