The State has moved to officially impound the MV Matthew, the cargo ship that was discovered to be carrying more than two tonnes of cocaine off the Cork coast in September.

The €157m seizure ranks as the largest drug interdiction in Irish history.

The bulk carrier ship is to be surrendered to the State under the 2015 Customs Act, which states that any vessel that transports illegal goods into the country is liable to forfeiture.

The Irish Times reports that the MV Matthew will likely be auctioned off, with the State taking in the proceeds, although it could also be destroyed entirely.

Anyone who wished to contest the forfeiture had 30 days to do so, according to a notice published in Iris Oifigiúil, the official Irish State gazette, on October 20. The vessel is now “duly condemned as forfeited”, as of yesterday.

The 190m (620ft) ship, which was built in 2001 and is believed to be worth about €9.5 million and remains impounded as the garda investigation continues.


Sean Hocking

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