Deeds to property in Dubai seized by gardaí along with watches, drugs, designer clothing
Arrest of 14 crime gang suspects follow Garda searches in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary
The operation is believed to be the single biggest operation by the Garda this year. File photograph: The Irish Times
Some 200 Garda members carried out 67 raids targeting suspected organised criminals in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary with 14 suspects arrested to date.
Documents related to bank accounts, properties and other assets have been seized along with a quantity of cash and some property suspected to represent the proceeds of crime.
The major operation, believed to be the single biggest operation by the Garda this year, began early on Wednesday and was continuing through the day.
Some 170 gardaí from the Garda divisions across the three counties carried out the raids supported by armed gardaí from specialist units – the Emergency Response Unit and Armed Support Unit — and colleagues from a number of Dublin-based units specialising in tackling organised crime.
The search was also backed by significant support from the Defence Forces, including the Army Helicopter along with Army bomb disposal experts and Army search engineers.
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was also involved along with the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda’s serious crimes squad.
Two cocaine presses were seized and gardaí said the gang, who are one of the main criminal groups in Munster with a mainly Limerick base, were bulking up pure cocaine and repackaging it for sale.
Gardaí seized approximately €220,000 in cash including some sterling and UAE dirham as well as Irish punts. One vehicle, valued at € 50,000, and jewellery and luxury watches with a combined value of €100,000 were confiscated by Cab, along with the deeds to a property in Dubai.
Designer clothing was confiscated along with financial documents relating to bank accounts and the purchase of property, with about €119,000 in two bank accounts frozen. As well as the cocaine presses, some €23,500 worth of illicit drugs was also found, including cannabis, heroin and crack cocaine.
The raids, under Operation Coronation, which were carried out from 6am, and targeted members of organised crime gangs based in Limerick with members and criminal associates also living in Clare and Tipperary.
“Operation Coronation was established to target organised criminality in Limerick city and its environs,” Garda Headquarters said in a statement.
“This operation is targeting organised extended criminality, drug trafficking and the financial returns achieved from this type of activity through money laundering.”
It said the operation was co-ordinated by Limerick gardaí with the assistance of national units, “to address the accumulation of wealth by those engaged in serious and ongoing criminality”.
“The targeting of the gang criminals forms part of the Limerick Divisional crime strategy and was conducted under the new divisional policing model, which is reducing the number of Garda divisions around the Republic and increasing the serious crime investigation function in each enlarged division.”