The members of a Scottish organized crime group (the OCG) are strongly suspected of being the force leading the two-ton shipment of cocaine seized in the waters of Ireland this week.
The group — Scottish OCG — is suspected of directing Europe’s end of operations, while the Dubai-based Kinahan Cartel enabled the wholesale drug shipment from the Clan de Golfo drug cartel based in Colombia.
Over 2.25 tons of what is understood to be pure cocaine was found when the Army Rangers reportedly stormed MV Matthew’s deck (a cargo vessel) on Tuesday during the early hours.
The official value of a whopping €157 million was placed on the drugs by relevant authorities. However, sources suggest that the cocaine is pure and would, when cut and bulked up for end users, have earned the involved criminals up to a whopping €500 million.
In the 20-member crew of MV Matthew were 13 Filipino seamen who were paid $1,000 a week to staff the 190 meters in length, 32 meters in width on its five-week voyage from Curaçao, which is a Caribbean-Dutch island located nearly 30km to the north of Venezuela.
The Kinahan Cartel was known previously to have strong associations with organized crime in Scotland.
Russell Findlay, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said in 2022, it was “widely known” that the Kinahans worked in collaboration with the much-feared Scottish crime clan named the Lyons.
It was alleged by the Department of Treasury (US) last year that the Kinahan gang had used a Glasgow-based vodka brand dubbed “Nero Drinks” as a front firm to launder its drugs cash.
Even though five members of the MV Matthew crew have been arrested, the rest remain on board while the vessel is examined at Cork Harbour.
It’s further understood that the condition of the vessel itself has led the authorities to doubt it may have been the subject of an earlier drug payload.
The vessel had been ripped asunder earlier, a source stated.
Panels were been ripped out, and the interior was cut into in a way that would suggest a previous search for drugs that was carried out on it.
Matthew Maritime Inc., the firm that owns the MV Matthews, was prepared in July this year from an address listed in the Marshall Islands.
The sole vessel in the firm’s ownership is the MV Matthew, registered on 10 August.
Popular as the “Chiquito Malo”, Avila is now under indictment based in Florida’s Southern District for cocaine trafficking and New York’s Eastern District for being engaged in a continuous criminal enterprise.
The Clan de Golfo is the biggest drug cartel in Colombia and one of the world’s most powerful criminal organizations.
The crime syndicate is known to recruit members from the former right-wing paramilitaries and is also said to have approximately 6,000 people under arms.
Besides drug trafficking, the Gulf clan is involved in unlawful mining and racketeering and has long been responsible for countless murders.
By the time the MV Matthew set foot into Irish waters on 23 September, Gardai had mentioned that a joint task force comprising personnel associated with the Defence Forces, gardai, and Revenue had been set up to intercept and board the vessel.
The decision to board the vessel and search for drugs, a major decision that resulted in the greatest seizure of cocaine in Ireland’s history, was based on international intelligence.
One in two adults below the age of 35 has tried out cocaine, per a poll carried out days after the €157 million seizure of the drug brought a new focus on its widespread use.
In other news, it has been found that younger adults in Ireland were way more likely to be cocaine users, with 43% of those who were polled saying that they tried it — and a further 6% of below-35s admitted to using the drug regularly. In comparison, 2% did not want to reveal if they had used it, the Thinks poll of Sunday Independent/Ireland concluded.
References: Sunday World, Irish Independent
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.
Latest Shipping News You Would Like:
Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!
Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.