Exclusive: Irish gang developed sophisticated inter continental trafficking route
Independent.ie can reveal that Australian Federal Police searched a property in Geebung, a suburb of Brisbane, earlier this month where they uncovered the drugs stashed in a digger bucket for a large JCB.
The drugs are valued at AUS$2.4million (€1.6m) and one man has been arrested in connection with the raid.
Follow-up investigations, carried out by Australian police, have uncovered a sophisticated cocaine supply network which sources say leads directly to the Kinahan crime cartel.
Police in Australia and the Interpol now suspect that Ireland’s largest crime cartel is targeting Australia due to the massive street value price of cocaone Down Under.
While a kilogram of the drug will sell for around €45,000 in Europe the same quantity can be sold for in excess of AUS$120,000 (€80,000) on the streets of Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.
It is believed that the Kinahans had set up the building materials company at the industrial estate in Geebung using fake papers and this was to be a distribution centre for the gang.
The drugs were sourced in Colombia before being shipped from Europe to Australia inside the digger bucket.
The company which recycled old building materials acted as a useful front for traffickers as Irish tradesmen travelling to and from the industrial estate would not rouse suspicion.
An underworld source said up to four similar sized shipments had already entered the country through the same intercontinental supply channel.
When contacted by Independent.ie a spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said they were aware of the case.
A spokesman said: "The AFP can confirm it is investigating the seizure of a quantity of cocaine from the Brisbane suburb of Geebung.
"This activity is part of an ongoing investigation, as such it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."
In recent months the Kinahans have sought to diversify their drug trafficking from Ireland after a number of significant seizures. Their ongoing feud with the rival Hutch crime, which has claimed the lives of 12 people, has also brought unwelcome garda attention on their drug distribution network.