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Irish arrest 113 in raids focused on triad gangs

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November 21, 2012 12:18 PM EST | AP


DUBLIN — Ireland's police force says its officers have arrested 113 suspected drug dealers and seized five marijuana growing facilities in the nation's biggest-ever crackdown on triad drug-trafficking gangs.

Police say most of those arrested during raids on 236 properties Tuesday and Wednesday are Chinese and Vietnamese nationals involved in growing, smuggling and selling marijuana in Ireland. They say many are connected to the biggest Hong Kong-based gang, Wo Shing Wo, and are being directed by triad chieftains based in neighboring Britain.

Most of those arrested are expected to be arraigned this week on charges including drug trafficking, robbery, burglary, arms possession and handling stolen goods.

The five marijuana-growing operations involved 4,200 plants with an estimated street value of (EURO)3.5 million ($4.5 million).