Serving Garda member suspended after investigation into drugs trade

Retired garda arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of aiding a gang remains in custody

A man in his early 60s, a former senior Garda officer, was arrested earlier this week. He remained in Garda custody on Friday evening, having had his period of detention extended for three more days.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A man in his early 60s, a former senior Garda officer, was arrested earlier this week. He remained in Garda custody on Friday evening, having had his period of detention extended for three more days. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A serving member of An Garda Síochána has been suspended from duty while a major investigation examines allegations that information held by the force was used to aid the activities of a crime gang.

The Irish Times has learned the Garda member, who is based in Dublin, was suspended from duty on Friday morning as the investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) continues.

On Wednesday, gardaí from that unit, which is effectively the Garda’s serious crimes squad, searched five houses in Dublin. During those searches 30kg of cannabis, valued at about €600,000, was seized along with €47,000 in cash and some mobile phones.

A man in his early 60s, a former senior Garda officer, was arrested. He remained in Garda custody on Friday evening, having had his period of detention extended for three more days.

Gardaí went before the courts on Friday to seek permission to extend the suspect’s detention by up to 72 hours after his first 48-hour period had expired. That extension was granted and the man was being questioned at Irishtown Garda station in Dublin’s south inner city.

The Garda said on Wednesday the suspect in his 60s was arrested “on suspicion of involvement in offences . . . relating to allegedly enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence”.

A small number of serving Garda members, who are in positions of middle management in the force, were also targeted in searches this week as part of the same investigation. Detectives carrying out the inquiry are trying to determine if sensitive and confidential information held by the Garda was passed to criminals involved in a drugs gang.

None of the serving gardaí targeted in searches this week were arrested. Sources stressed that no findings of wrongdoing, either criminal or disciplinary in nature, have been made against any of the serving gardaí or the retired former officer.

However, one of the serving Garda members has now been suspended from duty as the investigation continues.

In reply to queries, Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, said “a member of An Garda Síochána serving in the Dublin region was suspended from duty this morning, Friday, October 1st, 2021 in connection with this GNBCI-led investigation”.

More to follow.