Gardaí seize drugs and cash in Kinahan gang raids

Officers also find tracking devices during searches of 10 south Dublin properties

Det Peter O’Boyle briefing media at Kevin Street Garda station yesterday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Det Peter O’Boyle briefing media at Kevin Street Garda station yesterday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

 

Gardaí believe tracking devices seized from men linked to the Christy Kinahan-led drugs gang were to be used to monitor rival criminals’ movements for the purposes of attacking or intimidating them.

The devices, along with drugs, cash and high-value jewellery were found when gardaí searched 10 residential addresses in south Dublin yesterday in a co-ordinated operation from about 7am.

Sources said between €45,000 and €50,000 in cash was seized.

The money is believed to be the proceeds of crime. Most of it was found in one property.

The searches were carried out in the Garda’s A district policed by Pearse Street and Kevin Street Garda stations.

While drugs were seized, the quantities were small, with cocaine and heroin among the substances taken away for further examination.

One man was arrested and taken to Mountjoy Prison on foot of an outstanding committal warrant.

The raids came just 48 hours after a Garda team, led by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab), searched 19 residential and business premises in an operation against the top tier Kinahan gang based in Dublin.

That day of action on Wednesday saw 29 vehicles, six motorbikes, jewellery and about €100,000 in cash seized.

Data and documents were also taken from accountants’ and solicitors’ offices as part of the strand of the inquiry based on criminal assents.

Yesterday’s operation involved a group of about 80 Garda members, including members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, Special Detective Unit, Criminal Assets Bureau, detectives from Pearse Street and Donnybrook stations, the Dog Unit, the Divisional Scenes of Crimes Unit and the Garda’s South Central Divisional Task Force.

They were aimed at more junior members of the same wider criminal network headed by Kinahan.

However, some financial records were seized, including bank statements from accounts controlled by the suspects but which were now under their own names.

Records discovery

The 10 properties searched included houses, flats and apartments.

The man taken to Mountjoy and two others who had their homes searched are regarded as being the most significant figures under investigation.

Some of the properties searched had had CCTV systems installed in an apparent precaution by drugs dealers who believe their lives are constantly under threat from their rivals.

A number of the men are debt collectors as well as drug dealers and one of the suspects was in the past caught with a large amount of ammunition and an explosive devices.

The latest searches came at the end of a week of intense activity targeting members of the Kinahan gang in Dublin and a rival faction loyal to murdered drug dealer and armed robber Gary Hutch.

A feud between the two gangs not only claimed the life of Hutch (34) in southern Spain last September – after he was accused by the Kinahan gang of being an informer – but has seen two other men shot dead in Dublin in recent weeks.

On Friday, February 5th, a group of armed men stormed into a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, north Dublin, intent on shooting members of the Kinahan gang who were present.

David Byrne (33), Crumlin, was shot dead and two other men were wounded. Byrne was a member of the Kinahan gang and it was his associates whose homes and car business were raided on Wednesday.

Some three days after the attack at the Regency last month, by men loyal to Gary Hutch, his uncle Eddie Hutch (58) was shot dead at his home in the north inner city.

On Wednesday night after a surveillance operation, the three AK47s used in the Regency attack were seized in a car near Slane, Co Meath, as they were being transported back to the North.