Garda operation uncovers top gangster's €1m drugs factory
Published 22/04/2011 | 05:00
Gardai have uncovered a drugs factory linked to a notorious gangland boss living in north Kildare.
The factory was found yesterday when officers raided a rented house at Kilmurray, Enfield, near the Meath-Kildare border.
They seized five kilos of cocaine and four kilos of heroin with a combined street value of around €1m.
Also discovered were a large quantity of mixing agents, weighing scales and other drugs manufacturing equipment.
The raid followed a lengthy operation involving gardai from the Kildare division and local officers from Leixlip, backed up by the national drugs unit.
Detectives arrested a 41-year-old man, who was born in South Africa but is an Irish citizen.
However, they believe the mastermind behind the drugs operation is a Dublin criminal. He is regarded as a major supplier of drugs in the Leinster area over several years.
Last night's haul was thought to have been destined for sale in Meath and Kildare.
The suspect was taken for questioning at Leixlip station.
Meanwhile, gardai were continuing to question a 27-year-old Dundalk man last night in connection with the seizure of a €3.5m haul of cannabis resin and herb by members of the national drugs unit on Wednesday night.
The haul was found in a warehouse in a business park at the Malahide Road in Coolock after it was brought there in a van, which had been under surveillance following a joint operation between gardai and the customs drugs team.
The van was "tailed" from Dublin Port to the warehouse.
Gardai believe the shipment was organised by a Dublin crime gang and was destined for distribution in the north city and in county Louth.
Officers said the gang suffered a financial loss of several hundred thousand euro as a result.
And gardai in Bray said they arrested 20 people over the course of the last week for their involvement in the sale and supply of heroin and cannabis.
Over 50 charges can be preferred against those arrested.
A garda spokesman said: "This has been a nine-month covert policing operation which has dismantled significant drug distribution networks operating in north Wicklow.
"During the course of the searches carried out this week, further amounts of controlled drugs have also been seized along with drug-dealing paraphernalia.
"The focus of this operation has been to gather evidence against significant drug dealers."