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Local men arrested following detention of yacht off south west coast

Local men arrested following detention of yacht off south west coast

Two men from the Dundalk area were amongst three arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking following the detention of a yacht off the south west coast yesterday.

A joint operation involving Gardaí, the Navy and customs officers saw Naval Service personnel board the yacht and escort the vessel into Kinsale where three members of the crew were arrested, including two men from Louth, aged 39 and 38, and a 37-year-old Czech national.

All three were arrested under section 2 of the Drugs Trafficking Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to seven days before they have to be charged or released. All three were taken to Bandon Garda station for questioning where they remained overnight.

The 44 ft remains under armed guard in Kinsale Boatyard with a search of it continuing this morning.

It is understood the Naval Service had been tracking the yacht for some time and it was detained in Irish territorial waters near the Skellig Rocks off Portmagee, south Kerry, on Wednesday by the LÉ William Butler Yeats before being escorted into Kinsale on Thursday morning.

Gardaí seized a number of mobile phones and a satellite phone and are examining their call history to see if that can assist them in their investigation while Naval Service officers are examining charts and logbooks to see where the boat had been in recent weeks as well as where it was destined for.

Gardaí said the operation was “significant” and undertaken on foot of intelligence from a number of international police agencies.

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