Gardaí dismantle Eastern European drug gang’s money laundering operation

€1m cash seized in search at property in south Dublin on Thursday, with two suspected gang members arrested

The cash seized during the raid on a house in Knocklyon, Dublin on Thursday:. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/PA Wire

Gardaí have dismantled the money laundering operation of the Irish wing of a prominent Eastern European drugs gang, leading to the seizure of €1 million.

The gang, which has a reach across Europe, is heavily involved in the importation and sale of drugs across Ireland, including the exploitation of vulnerable people who are used to sell the product.

On Thursday, Gardaí raided a property in South Dublin where they found the cash as it was being counted and prepared for onward movement. Two suspected gang members were also arrested.

The gang operates across the island of Ireland and is chiefly involved in the importation of heroin, cocaine and cannabis.


The garda operation was carried out by Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) on foot of intelligence it had received.

GNDOCB officers raided a residential property in Knocklyon, Dublin 15 where they found the cash, along with counting machines and financial ledgers.

Two men, aged 35 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating or enhancing the ability of an organised crime group to commit a serious offence, an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

They are being held for questioning at a Garda station in the Dublin area.

Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, head of Serious and Organised Crime, said the seizure illustrates “the vast profits being made by transnational organised crime groups who inflict such damage upon our communities”.

He said gardaí are determined to disrupt drugs networks “and to make Ireland a hostile environment for these criminals to operate.

“Targeting such money laundering operations is a key strategy for our organisation, as this removes cash that would otherwise be reinvested by such groups into further criminal activity, and it strikes at the heart of the criminal business mode.

“I commend the dedication and professionalism of all the Gardaí involved in this most recent operation.”

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times