The chief target of a series of Garda raids in Dublin on Thursday is linked to the money laundering operation of one of the fastest growing gangs in the Republic which has capitalised on the downfall of the Kinahan cartel’s Irish operation.
The gang emerged in Ballyfermot and initially specialised in the heroin trade. In recent years it has lost multimillion Euro consignments of cash and drugs to the Garda. Those seizures were of a value only previously associated with the Kinahan cartel, underlining the expansion of the family-based gang over the last five years in the Republic.
They now have an extensive network of client gangs across the country, which they supply with drugs, and associates who collect debts and help launder money, one of whom was a main target of Thursday’s raids.
Almost 80 Garda members, included armed members and some Defence Forces personnel, took part in searches at 12 locations in Castleknock, Lucan, Finglas and Ronanstown. The co-ordinated searches, at residential and business addresses, were based on intelligence gathered about the activities of two gangs, though some of those targeted were more minor figures.
A number of mobile phones, laptops and financial records were discovered during the searches and they were set to be analysed to determine if they contain information that sheds light on the workings of the two gangs targeted.
The searches were primarily focused on Ronanstown and Finglas, with over €200,000 in case seized as well as cocaine valued at about €20,000. Gardaí said those targeted were suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs in Ronanstown and Clondalkin and an associated money laundering operation.
“Three high powered stolen motorbikes were recovered in other searches in the Finglas area also targeting serious and organised crime groups,” the Garda said, adding the owners of the vehicles were being reunited with their stolen property. “A small amount of suspected cocaine and a weighing scales was also seized at this location.”
During other searches in Finglas, gardaí found a plastic container wrapped in electrical tape and which contained 174 rounds of 9mm ammunition and a small quantity of cocaine valued at about €1,000.
A man in his 40s was arrested at the scene and taken to a Garda station in Dublin. He has since been charged and will appear in court at a later date.
The owners of the stolen motorcycles have all been contacted by gardaí and arrangements will be made to return the vehicles to them.