Illegal cattle drug seized at home of civil servant

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The Independent Online
GARDAI investigating an illegal Irish cattle drugs dealing network have seized a large quantity of banned growth hormones at the home of an official in the Irish Department of Agriculture, writes Alan Murdoch.

The raid was the latest in a series carried out by detectives from the Garda Anti-Racketeering Squad aimed at identifying those behind the importation and distribution of the drugs.

A spokesman said valuable documentation was recovered which could lead to arrests of principal figures in the network. Two men based in the Dundalk area close to the Northern Ireland border are thought to control the trade, according to a report in the Irish Independent. There have been repeated claims that the IRA is involved in the racket.

The civil servant whose home was raided yesterday has been suspended from duty. He is a field officer with 20 years' service, involved in meat plant inspection.

Weekend raids took place in Co Meath and at a house in a Dublin suburb. They followed earlier seizures of clenbuterol - a banned drug which is used to boost the lean meat content of cattle, and can increase their auction value by IR pounds 100 ( pounds 109).