On 14 July, RTE reported that gardaí believe it has seized up to half a tonne of cocaine, which was disguised as coal and concealed in a shipment of bags of coal to Ireland. It is the first time this method of drugs smuggling has been discovered in Ireland. The drugs were smuggled in 2 large containers from South America to Rotterdam. The process of disguising the drugs involved mixing pure cocaine with a carbon dust, a black dye and an odour blocker, and this was then moulded into blocks to look like coal and hidden in the bags of coal. Last month, Spanish police made a similar seizure when they found 30 bags of “cocaine charcoal” among over 1,300 bags of real charcoal, and discovered that a trading company was using a variety of front businesses to carry out suspicious imports.
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