Four remain in custody after raids

Sat, Jul 21, 2012, 01:00

Gardaí are continuing to question four people following a number of raids on properties as part of an operation targeting organised crime in the southeast.

A total of seven men were arrested on Wednesday after a series of dawn raids by an armed Garda and Revenue team in counties Laois and Carlow.

Two were released yesterday and one appeared in court on Thursday charged in connection with the incident.

The four still in custody are being questioned under anti-gangland legislation introduced in recent years and can be held for up to seven days without charge.

The gang, the nucleus of which is made up of a Carlow-based family, are suspects for an estimated 70 robberies in the southeast in the last year, with some raids involving victims being tied up and threatened with firearms.

Some 60 gardaí were involved in co-ordinated raids on 10 houses and apartments including teams involved in the investigation of organised crime in the Garda’s southeastern region and detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, all backed by armed members of the regional support unit.

The seven men arrested range in age from late teens to their 30s and are being held at Garda stations in Carlow, Kilkenny, Thomastown and Thurles. During the operation gardaí seized a gun with a silencer and scope and a small number of cannabis plants.