Drugs worth an estimated €21 million have been seized by customs officers in County Limerick.
Five men have been arrested after a bulk carrier ship carrying at least 300kg of cocaine was found docked in Foynes port along the southern bank of the Shannon estuary.
The 20-tonne vessel docked early December 19.
The drugs were found hidden within a bale with a beacon and buoyance aid attached, which may mean it was intended to be thrown overboard to be collected by a ‘daughtership.’
The men, aged 50, 46, 44, 41 and 35, are all currently being held at garda stations in the Limerick Division.
Authorities are continuing to search the ship and is investigation is ongoing.
Senior Garda sources said it was “very much a live operation” and one that was “being led by Revenue”.
A Revenue spokesman confirmed it was “undertaking a live operation”, but would not disclose any details.
“No further comment is available at this time,” the spokesman added.