The Garda Síochána (Irish police) recently released their annual report for 2014. The 42 page document covers a broad range of areas, as summarised in the infographic above.
One area the document covers is the work they undertake in relation to implementing drug policy.
In 2014, the Garda National Drugs Unit arrested 60 persons in connection with drug trafficking offences, with a total of €698m worth of drugs being seized.
However just €57m of this was from internal operations involving only the gardaí, while the rest involved international multi-agency investigations.
The Irish Times reported that the value of drugs seized domestically is up 78% from 2013
The annual report also highlights a number of the operations the gardai undertook, include ones targeting cannabis specifically.
Operation Ledger is an example of one such operation. It was the name given to an investigation into importation and distribution within the State, and it resulted in the seizure of cannabis herb with a value of €5.4 m.
The following are the amounts and values of cannabis seizures in 2014, which totalled over €40 million:
– Over a tonne of cannabis herb (1,226,027 grams) with a value of €24,520,543
– 15,463 cannabis plants with a value of €12,370,400
– Over half a tonne of cannabis resin (528,756 grams) with a value of €3,172,534
It is worth noting that these seizures amount to €40m. This represents a large proportion of the total amount of all drug seizures which was valued at €57m.
This perhaps further adds to the argument that by ending cannabis prohibition criminals would lose a significant chunk of their profits. This would also free up court and garda resources.
Below is a table outlining the seizures for 2014.
These figures refer to drug seizures conducted by an Garda Síochána alone. They do not include the amount and value of drugs seized in multi-agency operations in which they were involved.
You can read my previous blog where it was revealed that Revenue Officers were involved with the seizure of 673kg of cannabis in 2014
An Garda also contributed significantly to other seizures made by its European partners.
The gardai participate in groups such as the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre – Narcotic. The group tackles the trans-Atlantic trafficking of drugs.
The seven participating countries in MAOC(N) are Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy
In 2014, MAOC(N) assisted with the seizure of 180.293 tonnes of cannabis across the globe.