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    NEWS
    Previous Page
    This News Item
    courtesy of The Guardian


    Navies Urged To Tackle New Drugs Threat


    Sunday, February 05, 2006




    An Anglo-Irish naval task force should be deployed to combat a new drug-smuggling scheme that uses satellite technology, opposition parties have demanded.

    Irish criminals living abroad are sending cargo ships to drop off huge watertight containers of heroin and cocaine in the Irish Sea. The drug barons then pinpoint the location of the dumped cargo in shallow waters off the east cost with Global Positioning Systems technology.

    These GPS co-ordinates are transmitted to couriers in Ireland who set off on fishing vessels and speedboats to pick up the containers, which are then taken to rural coastal areas.

    Senior Garda sources say the scheme, pioneered by American drug smugglers off the US's southern coastal states, avoids bringing huge quantities of heroin and cocaine through Dublin Port and other dry docks where security is tighter.

    Irish and British opposition parties are calling for increased naval co-operation between the two countries to counter this latest criminal innovation.

    The Tory Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary David Liddington said: 'I hope that the two governments will consider joint action by the British and Irish Naval forces to help police tackle this menace. A joint force is the only way to patrol an increasingly vulnerable Irish Sea.' The Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny described the Irish Naval Service as the 'Cinderella service' within the Defence Forces, which he said needed more resources to cope with the drug smuggling network through the Irish Sea.

    'At any one time we have only two ships actively patrolling Irish territorial waters and they have to try and track and prevent the ever increasing movements of drug smugglers off our coastline. More needs to be done to stop this flow of drugs becoming a torrent,' Kenny said.

    According to senior Garda officers the route for cocaine in Ireland begins in South America. The drugs are then shipped to Galicia in northern Spain and ferried to points in the Irish Sea where containers are dumped in the shallower Irish coastal waters. The detectives say that this is one of the central reasons why cocaine and heroin are more widely available and cheaper than they used to be.

    In Greater Dublin a bag of heroin - enough to satisfy the addiction of an average user for a day - costs €14; a gram of cocaine can be priced at as little as €40, although the drug is usually heavily adulterated with glucose and household products such as washing powder.

    A spokesman for the Defence Forces confirmed that currently no formal co-operation exists between the Irish Naval Service and the Royal Navy.
    Last edited by B Inman; 5 February 2006, 18:28.

  • #2
    Have the two Navies ever partaken in joint operations before?

    Comment


    • #3
      Do SAR operations count?

      NTM
      Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!

      Comment


      • #4
        No i was thinking along the lines of arms/drug operations

        Comment


        • #5
          This is off the top of my head and I may be incorrect but I think there has been some limited co-operation before, possibly Nimrods tracking arms runs in the past, though don't quote me on that. I'll see if I can confirm it.

          "Cinderella Service??" The entire Defence Force is a "Cinderella Service". I wonder if Fine Gael ever got into power again would they even consider increasing the DF budget to something like what it should be if they were to take Defence seriously?
          courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice

          Comment


          • #6
            There was also reports that several of the arms seizures made in the 1980s were tracked by RN submarine before 'handoff' to the NS for boarding.

            I would be very surprised if there wasn't ongoing co-operation on a number of issues now though, from pollution control to SAR (particularly major emergency planning).

            Comment


            • #7
              I can remember something about that awell Aidan, have a book (somewhere) on a history of the NS. There is something about that kind of thing in it. I'll see if I can dig it out.

              Edited because I forgot some words before.
              Last edited by womble; 8 February 2006, 20:47.
              courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice

              Comment


              • #8
                At any one time we have only two ships actively patrolling Irish territorial waters
                This seems to be a crazy figure. Enda Kenny must have his figures wrong. If only 2 vessels are patroling at any given time what are the other 6 up to surly not maintenance?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Naval vessels require stores to stay at sea. They cannot pull in to the local tesco to stock up on fuel oil and other consumables. The crews also need to go home occasionally.
                  2 ships are engaged in Coastal patrols, which leaves the remaining 6 to patrol the Territorial waters out to 200 miles. While Enda Kennys figures are an exception rather than rule, any visitor to cork harbour could see the same.

                  The crews are not there, half the Offshore fleet is getting old and maintenance intensive. Its not news, sadly.


                  Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like the UK having "three carriers"

                    unfortunately, one is usually in re-fit, one is in mothball while only the third is "operational"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rooster
                      Like the UK having "three carriers"

                      unfortunately, one is usually in re-fit, one is in mothball while only the third is "operational"
                      Uh, that's the way it supposed to be. Naval assets aren't at sea 24x7. In order to have 1 carrier continually available, it's generally accepted that you need 3.

                      Of course, now they only have 2, so something is definitly amiss.....
                      Meh.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by yooklid
                        Uh, that's the way it supposed to be. Naval assets aren't at sea 24x7. In order to have 1 carrier continually available, it's generally accepted that you need 3.

                        Of course, now they only have 2, so something is definitly amiss.....


                        Uh, thats what I just said!

                        The V class subs are worked on the same principle, so there is always one at sea.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One of the three carriers, Invincible, was decommissioned (although it is still available to be called up until 2010) Ark Royal has just completed a refit so has probably got another 10 years left in her, but really the pocket carriers will only be kept going until the Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth hit the water!

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